Young and old rise to the occasion for national hockey tournaments

Derek Goforth Geraldton Guardian
Leah-May Labuschagne impressed with her performances.
Camera IconLeah-May Labuschagne impressed with her performances. Credit: Supplied

Geraldton Hockey was represented across the generations in national tournaments last week.

Leah-May Labuschagne competed in the U13 State competition representing WA in Hobart, while Dirranie Kirby and Kerry Hood played in the masters tournament in Cairns.

Kirby captained the over-40s team while Hood played in a combined WA-Victoria 65+ team, (with 70+ players for the first time this year) and took home the bronze medal.

Kirby had mixed results for the week, finishing fifth in the division, with Dirranie getting a best on ground in their match against NSW.

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Kirby was pleased with the level of hockey played in the games.

“It was a great tournament well run and with an awesome level of hockey,” she said.

“After three years without this carnival due to COVID there was an energy of excitement and reconnection all week it was the biggest tournament held to date.”

The weather in Cairns proved testing and Kirby found it particularly tricky in her goalie kit.

“The heat and humidity was a good test but as a team we played really good hockey and unfortunately had a few games not go our way but that’s hockey,” she said.

“I’m very proud of our efforts and the way we played hockey all week. Really pleased with how I personally played and honoured to have been named Best on Ground for WA in our game against NSW.”

Kirby has also been named in the Australian over-45 team playing in the Trans-Tasman tournament in New Zealand next May.

“I am super excited to have the opportunity to represent my country playing the game I love. It’s always an honour to wear the green and gold.”

In Hobart, Labuschagne had a full-on week full of games, playing teams from across the nation.

She scored the winning goal in game five against the ACT and followed it up with the best player performance in their 4-0 triumph over Victoria in game six.

A series of draws in their opening and closing fixtures left her team drawing fifth/sixth against NSW on 19 points.

In the play-off final Labuschagne got a ball to the eye which resulted in a short corner for them but unfortunately couldn’t get the back on the net.

The Geraldton Hockey Association expressed their pride toward their young player through several social media posts.

“We are so proud of you Leah-May and to get player of the match in one of your games was outstanding! Just shows you played your little heart out there and gave it everything you have.

“We all can’t wait till you represent WA again and show us what more you can do.”

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