A Newtown player works to evade the Swifts chaser during their Combined Competition match at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.
A Newtown player works to evade the Swifts chaser during their Combined Competition match at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday. Rob Williams

Why quarters format suits top players and coaches like Sara

HOCKEY: Experienced Ipswich player and rapidly rising coach Sara Rogers concedes it's a bit confusing playing under different formats in this year's Combined Competition.

When her Hancocks teams line up against other Ipswich club sides, they play quarters. When the Ipswich club sides tackle Toowoomba A-Grade opponents, they revert to the former two halves system.

"It just takes a little bit of getting used to it,'' Rogers said reflecting on the different conditions in this year's annual Combined Competition which is drawing to a conclusion.

The Hancocks men's team Rogers coaches continued its recent progress upstaging Toowoomba's leading club side Red Lion 4-2 in the latest match.

The Hancocks women's side Rogers leads also beat Red Lion 5-0 at the weekend.

Happy with the progress of both teams preparing to return to the Ipswich competition, Rogers favours the new quarters format adopted by the Ipswich Hockey Association.

"I think quarters, you can sort of change things,'' Rogers said preparing to coach a Brisbane side at this weekend's state under-18 championships at Tweed.

"It's more easy to talk to the whole team rather than send a message out with one or two players.

"Definitely as a coach, I prefer that.

"Even as a player, you can be under the pump for one quarter, have a break, regroup and reassess in the next quarter. It just breaks the game down a little bit more.''

 

Hancocks v Norths Toowoomba A grade women's hockey. Hancocks' Sara Rogers.
Hancocks player and men's coach Sara Rogers. Cordell Richardson

Rogers said beating Toowoomba's top men's side augured well for coming weeks when the defending Ipswich competition premiers return to regular matches at Raceview.

"The boys played very good hockey,'' Rogers said. "It's slowly starting to come together so hopefully that continues when we go back into the Ipswich comp.''

That is despite having a number of key players recovering from major injuries in recent weeks.

"The boys can take a lot of confidence out of that,'' she said of the tight battle with Red Lion.

Captain Nathan Smith scored a double playing his usual attacking midfield role with strikers Zac Hoyland-Meaker and Jackson Willie also finding the net.

Rogers welcomed the opportunity to contest the annual Combined Competition final, helped by Wests beating Norths 5-4 over the weekend.

"Any final we want to be a part of it,'' she said.

In the women's encounter, Robyn Clarke and Layla Eleison each scored a double for Hancocks.

"It took a while to get going,'' Rogers said, reflecting on the usual cold conditions in Toowoomba.

"We're happy with 5-0. It was good that we didn't concede a goal.''

The Hancocks' victory was important with defending Ipswich champions Wests notching another massive scoreline - this time 13-1 over Norths Ipswich.

 

A-grade combined hockey competition played between Swifts and Newtown at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.
Action from Sunday's Combined Competition match between Swifts and Newtown at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday. Rob Williams

 

Swifts went down 3-1 to Newtown in the other women's game.

Toowoomba Newtown beat Easts 3-2 in the third men's encounter.