Five-goal haul keeps Magpies in full flight
ACHIEVING his 500 game milestone last year provided some deserved excitement for loyal Wests player Greg Walker.
However, it came with his team struggling to win a game in the Ipswich A-grade hockey competition.
Fast forward nearly 12 months and Walker is delighted for two different reasons.
He's just scored five goals for the first time in his long A-grade career during a season where the Magpies are flying high.
Walker's latest haul - all field goals - lifted Wests to a 7-3 victory over Toowoomba Rangeville in the Combined Ipswich-Toowoomba competition.
"The boys are going pretty good actually, a lot better than we did last year," Walker said, thrilled to see his beloved club challenging for a top two spot.
"We seem to be having a lot more fun this year.
"That was the most enjoyable performance for a while."
Walker said enhanced enjoyment and more discipline on the field were largely due to new coach Todd Watson and the return of experienced campaigner Nathan Hooper.
"We've been doing a lot of running so a lot of the guys are fitter now," the Wests stalwart said.
"All the boys are gelling well and it seems to be working."
That was highlighted on Saturday night at Raceview when Wests stepped it up in the second half after only leading 3-2.
"We've been scoring a lot of goals lately," Walker, 31, said.
The much-improved Wests are in second on 17 points, trailing Easts on 21.
Defending premiers Norths are on 13 with Hancocks on nine.
Easts maintained their recent form with an 8-1 win over Toowoomba Past High.
Daniel Mantell scored another hat-trick after a fine three-goal haul the previous week against Norths.
Norths lost 7-3 to Toowoomba Red Lion in the other A-grade men's clash.