Hancocks back on top as Norths look to future
IT doesn't matter how many premierships you win, it still hurts to lose.
That's exactly how Norths stalwart Dean Jeffrey felt after his team's 4-2 A-Grade loss to Hancock Brothers on Saturday night.
"There's not much you can do about it,'' Jeffrey said, reflecting on his team's disappointment.
He'd won "a fair few since 2003''.
On what turned out a sad night, the Norths A-Grade players wore black arm bands like their winning R2 side in honour of clubman Jay Petersen, whose father-in-law passed away.
The Norths A-Grade team equalised 2-2 in the second half through Nick Maddocks and were well in the game thanks to some heroic goalkeeping by Cian McLaughlin.
However, the Hancocks attack finally penetrated Norths' defence with Hayden Michel's 58th minute strike opening up the game.
Norths replaced McLaughin with field player Josh Shaw in the dying stages to mount a final counter attack.
However, the desperate ploy was unsuccessful with Hancocks player Zac Hoyland-Meaker netting his team's fourth goal to secure victory.
Having shared in many Norths premierships, Jeffrey said Saturday night's Norths team was understrength due to injury and suspension.
However, he was confident the Devils would secure more A-Grade premierships in the future.
"We've got four good juniors coming through and another couple of young guys, which is good,'' the former Australian Country player said, keen to keep developing the young generation.
"I'll play A-Grade again.
"It's always good to have a good core that's been playing together for a while and try and get some new guys come in and fill the spots.''
As one of Hancocks' most exciting prospects, energetic teenager Michel loved being in the grand final cauldron.
The former St Edmund's College student surged up the sideline at every opportunity, chased with determination and showed he belonged in A-Grade's centrepiece match of the season.
Most importantly, he played a major role setting up Hancocks' second goal and scoring the third that broke open the end-to-end encounter.
His efforts helped Hancocks secure back-to-back premierships.
The Ipswich-born and bred sportsman also umpired the Reserve Grade women's grand final before focusing on his A-Grade exploits.
"It was a very hard game . . . intensity is always the thing,'' he said outside the Hancocks dressing room amid noisy post-game scenes.
"Basically whoever wants it more, gets it.''
Michel, 18, soaked up Hancocks' latest achievement.
However, he'll soon be back displaying his talents in another arena.
Rising talent Michel is preparing to umpire at the Australian under-13 championships in Hobart from October 4-9, after being selected by the Hockey Australia panel.