Why Tigers are on target for shot at title
WITH seven goals, including a hat-trick already this season, Tim Woodford is enjoying being part of the resurgent Easts' A Grade side.
However, the consistent midfield/striker is yet to produce his best hockey during four games in this year's Ipswich competition.
"I still don't think my overall game has been where it needs to be,'' Woodford, 28, said.
As the Tigers continue to build, Woodford is hoping to contribute even more to his team's attacking armoury.
The Tigers have three wins and two losses in a hotly-contested Ipswich competition where every side has at least one victory.
After scoring both goals in his team's latest 2-1 victory over Wests, Woodford said the Tigers were progressing well under professional coach Adam Spry.
"We've always sort of had the numbers for games but really poor at training sessions,'' Woodford said.
"And now we've got a high quality coach in Adam Spry, the training has been really, really good.
"You can tell by the way we train our game has improved out of sight.''
Spry is also coaching the South West Queensland men's team at this weekend's Super League championships in Brisbane.
Easts' duo Tyler Spry - Adam's son - and Australian Country captain Chris Mantell are involved in the three-day tournament starting on Saturday at the State Hockey Centre.
Woodford said an injection of young players like Tyler and Jacob Robinson was helping Easts in their return to the A Grade ranks after a season off.
"We haven't really had that youthfulness in the team so it's really good around training having a few of the younger boys there,'' he said.
Some young players from Bellbowrie have also joined the weekly sessions.
"Just having 16 or 17 at training is something we haven't had for 10 years,'' said Woodford, who made his A Grade debut aged 13.
"There's a really good vibe around the group.''
Woodford rated Saturday's clash with Wests "a bit of a scrappy win''.
"Just the way Wests play, they like to defend a lot and get 11 behind the ball so it's always tough to score goals,'' he said.
"It was good to come away with the win.''
After Wests equalised through Greg Walker, Woodford was on the spot to score the winner from a drag flick. His first was a field goal.
He's only missed one game for Easts, having spent a fortnight holidaying in China with wife Alyssa.
"It was really good, a massive culture shock,'' the regional PE teacher said.
"Just the way they live compared to Australians.''
But he and Alyssa enjoyed China's spectacular sights.
In the other men's A Grade game at the weekend, Hancock Brothers continued their steady development, drawing 3-3 with defending premiers Norths.
Hancocks double success
The Hancock Brothers women made the most of their doubleheader weekend, winning both matches at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
Hancocks beat Norths 3-1 on Friday night before a 1-0 victory over last year's grand finalists Swifts on Sunday.
Experienced striker Aimee McDermott scored in both games.
Hancocks' coach Mark Eleison is in Townsville umpiring at the Queensland Men's Masters Championships. For the second year in a row, the respected Ipswich whistleblower was assigned the Division 1 over 40's final, which is being played this afternoon.
While fulfilling his latest umpiring duties, he kept a keen eye on his A Grade team's weekend progress after a mixed start to the season.
"The girls are actually starting to get together,'' said Eleison, in his first year coaching the women's A Graders.
Peter Robinson oversaw the team on Friday night with captain Sara Rogers guiding the team on Sunday while continuing her rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction.
Eleison said the addition of Indiana Evans from Swifts had boosted the team.
"The girls are working well with each other and it's good to have that solid foundation back with Miranda (McNamara) and Brooke Pavitt there at the back now,'' Eleison said.
Natalie Davison has played her usual workhorse role in the midfield, linking well with state junior Abby Eleison.
In the other A Grade women's game, runaway competition leaders Wests outclassed Bellbowrie 9-1.
Eden Jackat and Amy Kickbusch scored hat-tricks.
No Ipswich matches are scheduled this weekend due to the Super League titles.
Ipswich is also preparing to host the under-13 Girls Southern Cross competition on May 7.