TOP TUSSLE: Hancocks player Dean Pavitt and Wests’ Damien Goodwin could be back in the thick of action in today’s A-grade elimination final at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
TOP TUSSLE: Hancocks player Dean Pavitt and Wests’ Damien Goodwin could be back in the thick of action in today’s A-grade elimination final at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Rob Williams

Buzzsaws hope to make the final cut

GAME TO WATCH: Norths hat-trick hero Rachael Mantell is pursued by Wests striker Jade Hooper in an A-grade game earlier this season.
GAME TO WATCH: Norths hat-trick hero Rachael Mantell is pursued by Wests striker Jade Hooper in an A-grade game earlier this season. David Nielsen

HANCOCKS are hoping to repeat their blockbuster performance when semi-final action fires up in the Ipswich men's A-grade competition today.

After a promising start to the competition, Hancocks have struggled in the back half of the season before thrashing the Wests Magpies last weekend.

The teams meet again in today's elimination final at 4.15pm.

The key for the Buzzsaws will be their ability to find the back of the net. They will rely on Peter "Maverick" Mitchell to provide the strikepower with regular scorer Adam McClelland overseas.

Wests have been inconsistent throughout the season. However, the Magpies are capable of causing an upset and mixing it with the likes of Easts and Norths.

Look out for George "Clutton Chops" leading from the front and Nathan "why do we have a day game" Hooper having a big game at the back for Wests.

Wests are tipped to win 4-1 and book their preliminary final berth.

Tomorrow at 5.45pm, the major semi-final features minor premiers Easts against reigning premiers Norths.

Easts go into this game in red-hot form, having sealed the minor premiership by nine points.

However, Norths have always been big finishers and amp up their preparations for finals hockey.

Norths are the clear-cut favourites to lift the premiership trophy in a fortnight.

Expect Jeremy and Will Dalais to shine for the Devils in the inside channels with Aaron "Bundy" O'Beirne at his dangerous best in front of goals.

The Tigers defence will have to be on song to shut down Norths' attacking firepower. Expect big games from Kyle "Golden Archers" Sippel in the half line and Andrew "Get me a straightener" Woodford in the net.

An intriguing battle will be between goalkeeper Woodford and Norths striker Anthony "Woodduck" Woodward.

Woodward has a habit of slotting goals past Woodford and doesn't mind letting him know.

Which Woody will have the wood on the other tomorrow?

Norths are tipped to win 3-2 in a fiery game.

 

Women's showdowns

THE women's A-grade elimination final between Wests and Norths is at 6pm today.

The result will depend on who is available for each side.

A massive rumour around town is that the Magpies will welcome back former Australian superstar Amy Korner (Brisbane commitments) and former Australian Country captain Jade Hooper (injury).

With these two available, the Magpies are capable of being the competition's best.

However, the Devils could be welcoming back their stabilizing midfielder Anita Davey from an eye operation.

Davey would be an excellent addition to work closely with fullback Morgan Leeder and right half Leonie Young.

Norths will be looking to last weekend's hat-trick hero Rachael Mantell and all-round club legend Sarah Parlett to open up the Magpies defence.

 

Wests are tipped to win 5-4.

In the final A-grade encounter, fierce rivals Swifts take on Hancocks in tomorrow's major semi-final.

The Bluebirds have been flying well above the rest of the opposition. However, it will be fascinating to see if ghosts of finals past are still lingering around the Bluebirds as often happens at this time of the year.

Waiting for Swifts to make mistakes will be the well-drilled side of Hancocks, led by Australian Country superstar Sara Rogers.

Rogers and her mixture of baby Buzzsaws and proven steel of experienced campaigners will be looking to book themselves a spot in the grand final.

Hannies saw the return of inspirational striker Aimee McDermott last week who is rumoured to be carrying a fracture in her leg.

This sets up a mouth-watering goal fest as at the other end of the field with dynamic duo Kirsty Bennett and Ann-Marie Callow.

Caitlin Sippel will be looking to set the standard with some strong defence early on for Hannies while Di Casey will be keen to exploit any gaps the Bluebirds can find.

Swifts are tipped to get through this one unscathed with a 5-1 victory.



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