Wests' goalkeeper Emily Witheyman-Crump saves a goal as defender Lauren Hess looks on in Saturday's Ipswich A Grade hockey match won 5-2 by the Magpies. Swifts' striker Hannah Sanderson (left) scored both her team's goals.
Wests' goalkeeper Emily Witheyman-Crump saves a goal as defender Lauren Hess looks on in Saturday's Ipswich A Grade hockey match won 5-2 by the Magpies. Swifts' striker Hannah Sanderson (left) scored both her team's goals. Franca Tigani

Aussie rep Emily headed for two finals

AFTER a hectic couple of months on representative duty, Emily Witheyman-Crump can focus on the fast-approaching finals.

But she could still have a juggling act to manage after recent missions for the Australian Schoolgirls and Queensland under-21 hockey teams.

Both her club sides are leading their respective competitions - Wests in Ipswich and Commercial in Brisbane.

It means some challenging schedules loom for the highly regarded teenage goalkeeper.

However, the year 12 Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student is taking it all in her stride.

"I might have a double final if I can make it to those, which will be really good,'' she said.

"What happened last year was the finals actually clashed so I ended up having to choose my Brisbane club.''

She hoped this year's finals series worked out better for both clubs.

Witheyman-Crump's latest weekend assignment was helping Wests beat Swifts 5-2 in Saturday's A Grade encounter at the Ipswich Hockey Complex before backing up for another victory in Sunday's Combined Competition final in Toowoomba.

 

Wests' goalkeeper Emily Witheyman-Crump.
Wests' goalkeeper Emily Witheyman-Crump. Franca Tigani

Wests remained unbeaten in both competitions after overpowering Red Lion 7-2 in the intercity final.

Witheyman-Crump was especially pleased how Wests came back from 1-0 down on Saturday, a situation the Magpies haven't encountered much this season.

"Things have been pretty good,'' she said.

"Throughout the games we've really started working well together and trusting each other and trusting our instincts, which is really good.

"Hopefully we can keep improving that for the rest of the season.''

In Sunday's Combined Comp final, athletic co-captain Eden Jackat continued where she left off on Saturday.

The skilful attacking player scored a hat-trick against Red Lion after netting two goals against Swifts 24 hours earlier.

Former international striker Amy Kickbusch also netted a double on Saturday, boosting her season tally to an incredible 35 goals.

Other Wests' goal scorers over the weekend were Talicia Canty, Enya Timperley, Jess Wilkinson and Lauren Hess.

Wests suffered a blow on Saturday with co-captain Amy Nicholls being assisted from the field in the first half with a hamstring injury.

But it was another productive weekend for rising keeper Witheyman-Crump.

The 16-year-old recently played for the Queensland under-21 team which finished third at the national championships in Wollongong after returning from Europe with the Australian Schoolgirls.

She represented the Australian Schoolgirls side in a Four Nations tournament in Europe where she experienced the different levels of international play.

 

Wests' A Grade hockey players relax at half-time on their way to a 5-2 win over Swifts on Saturday.
Wests' A Grade hockey players relax at half-time on their way to a 5-2 win over Swifts on Saturday. Franca Tigani

Outside the Wests' dressing room on Saturday, she sounded happy and enjoying her hockey.

"It's my second year back in the Ipswich comp,'' Yamanto-based Witheyman-Crump said.

"It's the comp that I grew up with and it's good just to come back and just keep playing with my friends.

"It's like a big family as well. We have gatherings all the time together off the field, which really makes a difference on the field.''

Her cousin Lauren Hess also plays for the Wests' A Grade side.

In Saturday's match, striker Hannah Sanderson scored both goals for Swifts.

Sanderson said last year's grand final runners-up were far from disappointed with the loss.

"We're coming along pretty well as a team,'' Sanderson said.

Coach Megan Bool was away at the masters championships and Swifts had a few regulars out.

But Sanderson has managed to play all season, happy with her first goal-scoring double in the latest game.

"We played pretty well,'' she said. "The scoreboard didn't really represent the game I don't think.''

It's her first full season in A Grade, having been part of and captained Swifts' previous grand final-winning Reserve Grade teams.

Sanderson's older sister Jessica is also in the Swifts' A Grade side, having moved up from Reserve Grade.

In the other A Grade women's match on Saturday night, Hancocks beat Norths 2-0.



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