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Injury hangs over cities' hopes

Cities’ Joel Latham about to tackle Rovers’ Duane Pyke.
Cities’ Joel Latham about to tackle Rovers’ Duane Pyke. Scottie Simmonds

IN what has been a stellar year for Cities Hockey Club both the men’s and women’s teams will take to Hinkler park this weekend to defend their premiership crowns.

Cities men have been a force to be reckoned with on Hinkler Park and will be looking to earn back-to-back premiership in the Bundaberg competition.

A win against Rovers would cap off a dominant year for Cities men and give them dual premier league and Bundaberg hockey league premierships.

Cities women will face-off against Arrows Athletics in the hope of achieving a record-breaking four consecutive premiership titles.

Cities Men coach Mick Callaghan said his team would enter the grand final against Rovers after a promising week on the training paddock.

“The guys are playing together exceptionally well,” he said. “It’s the big one and the guys are where they need to be to take it out.”

In the favour of Rovers is an injury cloud surrounding Cities star striker and Queensland Country representative Brody Latham.

Latham is nursing a hand injury after collecting a wayward stick in the team’s last encounter.

“He’s the sort of guy that’s hard to replace so we’ve got our fingers crossed,” Callaghan said.

Latham will keep a keen eye on opposition danger men Josh Stacey and Coby Zahn in the encounter and said his players would need to keep a tight defensive pattern to stem the damage from Rovers strikers.

“It’s not going to be an easy game,” he said.

“The guy’s are going to have to work hard but if they keep a level-head and play to the standard they are capable of they will be very hard to beat.”

Cities women coach Robert Quaite said his team was fired up and ready to notch up its fourth consecutive premiership.

“It would be an outstanding milestone for us and it’s been a goal we’ve been working towards all season,” he said.

“The girls are going to bring their best game, that much I’m sure of.”