Hancocks' player Robyn Clarke (right) has been in fine goal-scoring form in recent games.
Hancocks' player Robyn Clarke (right) has been in fine goal-scoring form in recent games. Nev Madsen

Hancocks keeping relaxed for showdown with premiers

KEEPING the players relaxed and training like normal is the focus of Hancock Brothers after their A Grade women's team qualified for another Ipswich competition grand final.

Coach Mark Eleison has been delighted with his side's progress in recent weeks, adding a glut of  goals to their improved defensive performances.

After beating Norths 9-2 in the elimination final, Hancocks ended the run of last year's grand finalists Swifts on Sunday afternoon.

Hancocks' 2-0 win at the Ipswich Hockey Complex set up a Saturday afternoon showdown with minor premiers and last year's winners Wests in the title decider.

"Over the last couple of weeks, they've really proved that they can pull together as a team and play to their potential, which is the good thing,'' Eleison said.

"It is the final so that's what we want.''

Hockey Queensland's Volunteer of the Year is coaching the team for the first time.

"We'll just take it like every other week,'' he said.

That includes a training session and team chat on Wednesday.

"That's what it is all about,'' he said. "We've got a good bunch of girls there which all get on with each other.

"We'll keep it low key and relaxed and continue doing what we've done over the last couple of weeks.''

The coach praised the efforts of stand-in goalkeeper Bree Conway following the broken hand injury to Australian Country representative Shahna Hamment.

"Bree has really stepped up the last couple of weeks for us and we're not missing anything there really,'' Eleison said.

In-form striker Robyn Clarke and seasoned performer Aimee McDermott scored the goals that lifted Hancocks into the grand final, where they have been regular qualifiers over the last decade.

The coach said that was pleasing after struggling to score earlier in the season.

"We defend well but putting the ball in the net was something we were lacking in some of our games,'' he said.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we had seven goals in one, and four in another and two last night.''

Facing a powerful team like Wests, Eleison said such attack was crucial.

This year's lower grade grand finals start Friday night at Raceview.



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