River Rats strike out

September 06, 2017

In the mix:Experienced Shepparton Strikers star Glen Russell tries to steal the ball from Echuca's Lachlan Thompson.

ECHUCA-MOAMA Hockey Club’s A men were out-paced by a quality Strikers line-up on Sunday in the Goulburn Valley Hockey Association finals.

The 1-5 loss at Echuca College brought a disappointing end to its 2017 season, according to Rats’ Adam Thompson.

‘‘Strikers played really well, and we played not so well,’’ he said.

‘‘They got on top early and in the end they had us for speed.

‘‘Their ball movement was really quick and they had two or three strikers we weren’t able to stop.’’

The Strikers’ accurate and skillful ball movement had them securing a solid 3-0 lead at half-time.

The River Rats finally hit the scoreboard in the second half, Lachlan Thompson scoring the opening goal from a drag flick off a short corner.

The Rats had an opportunity to peg the scores back to 2-3 but missed a shot for goal, which resulted in a turnover and fourth goal for the Strikers.

The opposition scored again late in the match to finish with five goals and lock in their spot in the next final.

James Thompson was back in the side following his inclusion in the Victorian Country side and played well in defence.

‘‘The forwards tried hard all day, but we didn’t use the ball well through the midfield,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘We had three under-15 players in the side, our keeper Ben Weir, Ryan Thomson and Tayden Monigatti, which is hopefully a right step in the direction for the club.’’

The Rats had an overall impressive season considering they had lost several players from the 2016 grand final side and were undermanned most weeks. A highlight came in round eight when the Rats managed to knock-off a previously undefeated SYC.

‘‘Hopefully most of the side will be sticking around for next season and be able to play most games,’’ Thompson said.

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