Hockey success for Leamington

The Leamington Bush Wackers were all smiles after winning Waikato Hockey Association’s top intermediate league at Gallagher Hockey Centre in Hamilton on Friday afternoon. Photo – Holly Fulforth

The Leamington Bush Wackers finished their winter season on a high on Friday, maintaining their undefeated record to win Waikato Hockey Association’s year 7/8 advanced intermediate goalkeeper league.

The mixed team represents Leamington Junior Sports Club.

“It’s a special achievement for these kids to go undefeated in the top grade for intermediate hockey in the Waikato,” said coach Stephen Butcher, who has more than 20 years’ experience coaching women’s and masters teams.

He and his wife Nadine teamed up with Janine Parry this year to coach seven Leamington Junior Sports Club hockey teams, ranging in age from year 3 to 8.

Stephen said they had forged an association with the club because they wanted to develop hockey and build skills in youth players.

“I didn’t know what to expect when entering the team in the advanced grade because I was new to coaching this level of hockey,” he said.

“I knew I had the raw materials and the making of a great team – they just needed a bit of polish.”

Over 15 rounds of hockey the Bush Wackers scored 143 goals in total and conceded only 22, winning 11 games by at least five goals.

Their closest rival this season was St Peter’s Blue, who they beat 4-3 in a nail-biter on May 26 with a goal in the game’s final minutes.

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