Norths and Ipswich captain Mark Pocock takes charge during Saturday’s 7-0 win over their Toowoomba counterparts.
Norths and Ipswich captain Mark Pocock takes charge during Saturday’s 7-0 win over their Toowoomba counterparts. David Nielsen

Devils in groove for title shot

BEING a victorious Ipswich captain and premiership-winning player, Mark Pocock knows what it takes to be successful.

So it's timely the unbeaten Norths Devils are back on top of their game in this year's A-grade hockey competition.

After his side demolished Toowoomba counterparts Norths 7-0 on Saturday, Pocock looked confidently ahead chasing a first grand final title since 2007.

"Everyone gets on really well this year so everyone works for each other a lot better," Pocock said. "And we're just having a great time.

"We'll probably step training up a little bit more in the back half of this season. But we'll just keep everyone calm, relaxed and try to have a good time while we're playing."

That enjoyment attitude is what has the Devils producing some of their best form in recent years.

But as their respected leader stood outside the dressing room on Saturday, he felt satisfied for another reason.

Last Monday, Pocock co-captained the Ipswich side that won the state open division 2 final to secure promotion to next year's competition.

"It was fantastic down there. Just the effort the guys put in off the ball, I can't fault it," Pocock said.

"The whole build-up, from January to the tournament, we just had so many guys who were keen."

Pocock has been a regular Ipswich representative player since 2000.

He shared this year's captaincy with Norths' teammate Tobias "T-bone" Figura.

"It was a real proud moment," Pocock said.

"It was good to captain with T-bone and play with a group of guys like that.

"It's exciting.

"I think we can keep the guys together. From how it finished, everyone is just so keen."

On Saturday, Pocock was delighted how goal-scoring ace Dean Jeffrey netted five goals to cap a fine team effort.

Jeffrey scored all Norths' goals in the first half, including converting a penalty corner after the siren.

The dangerous striker netted Norths' fourth goal after the break before Nick Maddocks scored, Jeffrey found the net for number five and Steve Ihle completed the demolition from a deflection.

While Pocock was happy to see Jeffrey firing, he was also impressed with Maddocks.

"He played for Ipswich seconds down there (at the state open titles) and was a standout for them," Pocock said.

"He can play anywhere on the field. He's just fantastic to have in the team.

"He's one of those guys that you can put anywhere and wherever you put him, he'll just give 100 percent."

In other A-grade men's matches over the weekend, Hancock Brothers beat Toowoomba Rangeville 3-1 and defending premiers Easts suffered a rare 5-3 loss to Toowoomba Red Lion.

Ipswich A-grade teams endured a tough time in the women's intercity club competition.

Ipswich Norths lost to Toowoomba Norths 3-1, Red Lion beat Bellbowrie 4-2 and Rangeville overpowered Hancock Brothers 6-0.

Defending premiers Swifts held out Thistles 2-1 in the women's A grade duel on Sunday.

Look out for weekend previews in Hockey Hits each Saturday - only in your QT.



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