McGuire on top in Cities walkover

Caitlin Clark and Stacey Neller during a short corner against the Granville Rovers.
Caitlin Clark and Stacey Neller during a short corner against the Granville Rovers. Mike Knott

KAREN McGuire continued her superb early season form, taking her goals' tally to nine in three matches as Cities maintained their perfect start to the Inter-City Premier League women's season with a 6-0 white-wash of Brothers on Saturday.

But Bundaberg premiers All Blacks confirmed they also are contenders by claiming another big scalp, coming from behind twice to defeat Granville Rovers 4-2.

The win was extra special for Caitlin Clark, playing on her 21st birthday, along-side her two sisters Brit and Emily, but Kayla Osborne and Stacey Neller shared the honours, with doubles.

Neller struck twice from penalty corners in the 49th and 59th minutes to put them in front for the first time before Osborne, who scored the first equaliser late in the first half, sealed the game with a second field goal in the 62nd minute.

All Blacks had beaten Premier league champions Arrows/Athletics first up, before having their second match against Hervey Bay postponed due to rain. Coach Craig Martin said the wash-out had forced them to "start again".

"Realistically, the first half was ordinary but the girls have learnt how to win at the moment, and without setting the world on fire, they toughed out a win and played with real courage which has impressed me," Martin said.

"I'm really pleased with what is still a very young team which lacks a fair bit of experience in some areas but they have gelled so well, it's hard not to be happy with them - they get on exceptionally well and have developed a real team and club culture."

Despite their winning start, Martin said they were not even thinking yet about finals.

"They are a long way off - our team goals are first of all about playing well and building on last year and if we make the Premier semis, I'll be happy but we're not focused on finals," he said.

But All Blacks' men were put to the sword by Granville Tigers 10-1.

Premier men's champions Cities suffered another blow in their title defence by copping their second heavy loss, this time to Brothers 6-1, but Colby Zahn bagged a double as Bundaberg Rovers powered to their third straight win, outgunning Wallaroos 4-1.

Topics:  goal, hockey, premier league, season



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