Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Premier League Will Test the Best

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Premier League Will Test the Best

Article excerpt

Byline: Margie Pembroke

THE JH Williams Prem-ier Hockey League starts this weekend and will be played over the next eight weeks.

The competition showcases the best men's and women's hockey talent across the Gold Coast, Tweed Border and Far North Coast associations.

Depending on representative commitments, players such as former Australian representatives Nikki Hudson (Gold Coast), Warren Birmingham (Far North Coast), Matthew Butterini (Tweed Border), Mark Harris (Far North Coast), Kim Tuckwell nee Small (Tweed Border), Sharon Buchanan (Tweed Border), Ben Moss (Far North Coast) and Raymond Rodda (Far North Coast) will take the field.

Games are played at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah; Barrie Smith Fields, Murwillumbah; and Hunt Park, Labrador.

The men's action hits off at Hepburn Park today with Alstonville taking on Mullumbimby at 2.55pm followed by East Lismore against Redbacks at 5.45pm.

Talented juniors Lach-lan McKendrick and Troy Cooper (Alstonville) and Brendan Iwanuscha and Sam Johnston (Mullumbimby) will line up in the first game.

A well-rested East Lismore should prove too strong for Redbacks, who struggled against the top sides last year.

Easts have been playing controlled hockey.

Coach Chris Clarke has instilled plenty of discipline and patience into his team and they have reaped the rewards.

Striker Simon Mackney and Dan Riley have been creating plenty of opportunities with Mackney, in particular, clinical in front of goal.

Redbacks may find it hard to overcome Michael Broadbent, Jamie Hetherington and Matt Currie, who control the Easts midfield.

Ballina travel to the Gold Coast to play Burleigh, which just missed out on the finals last year.

Having lost Jake Baldry, Ballina will hope Sam Davis and Mitchell Harley can fill the void.

With the league split into two pools, Coraki and Northern Star both have byes.

Today: 2.55pm Turf Alstonville v Murwillumbah; 5.45pm Turf East Lismore v Redbacks; 2. …

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