Benalla Hockey Club

By Benalla Ensign

Four Benalla students competed in Hockey Victoria’s Junior State Championships last week, playing seven games of hockey across the State Netball Hockey Centre and the Hawthorn Malvern Hockey Centre.

The four-day event is run annually in the first week of the July school holidays and comprises six metropolitan and four regional teams from across the state, playing in under-13, under-15 and under-18 age groups.

This year Hockey Victoria partnered with the ‘Change the Game’ program – a Victorian Government initiative to increase the number of women in leadership roles within sport.

Featured players:

Taree Fletcher

Taree is a Year 9 Student at Benalla P-12 College. She started her hockey journey in Benalla with the Hook in2 Hockey program and then followed the Dowe boys over to SYC, when Benalla had no junior side.

This year Taree is part of the combined SYC-Benalla-Strikers under-16 team and has also started playing regularly in the SYC A-Women side.

After narrowly missing selection into the Knights under-15 Girls side last year, she was delighted to be part of the team this year, playing strongly in the midfield in the left and right half positions.

The under-15 girls finished with three wins, three losses and one draw, placing seventh overall with a 4-1 win in their final game against the South West Country Eagles, on Friday.

Alex Dowe

Alex is in Year 10 at Benalla P-12 and has been a big part of the Benalla Hockey Club for a number of years.

This was his third JSC event, successfully being selected in the NE Knights under-18 boys team.

His versatility on the field was appreciated by the coach who had him playing across the backline, through the centre and as high striker.

He was able to score the winning goal in the boys 2-1 win against the Eagles, after lifting the ball over the goalie’s legs as he dived to the ground.

Alex was also able to take part in an HV Umpiring development program and umpired a couple of under-13 games during the week.

Andy Williams

Andy is completing his final year of VCE at Benalla’s FCJ College.

He resides in Euroa, he spent his junior years playing for Euroa Hockey Club and now plays for Mooroopna HC as their Men’s A-Grade goalie.

Andy has been regularly selected into the NE Knights teams as Goalkeeper. He was an instrumental member of the under-18 boys leadership group and helped to turn around the teams tough first game loss against eventual Division Champions, NE Metro Red Devils, with some fantastic saves.

Evan Dowe

Evan is a Benalla P-12 student and is currently completing his VCE.

He took advantage of the decision by HV to increase the top age bracket from under-17 to under-18 for 2019 and was able to take part in his fifth Championships, this time as Captain of the NE Knights under-18 boys team.

He mainly plays in the Full-Back or Centre-Half positions and was able to guide the team to four wins and three losses, with a 3-1 win over the North West Country Lightning to place seventh overall.