FINALS' WARM-UP: Hancocks A-Grader Ryan Smith takes on his Toowoomba Rangeville opponent during a recent match. The Combined Competition finals are on at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.
FINALS' WARM-UP: Hancocks A-Grader Ryan Smith takes on his Toowoomba Rangeville opponent during a recent match. The Combined Competition finals are on at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday. Cordell Richardson

Swifts on improve as big guns brace for finals

HOCKEY: As Ipswich competition big guns Hancocks and Wests prepare for this weekend's Combined Competition finals at Raceview, another team is quietly going about its development work.

The Swifts women will return after this weekend off boosted by back-to-back victories.

Their latest 4-0 win over Ipswich opponents Norths came after a 2-1 victory over Norths Toowoomba.

Head coach Brett Petersen said fielding a full strength side had been a challenge with injury, work commitments and school duties. However, when he gets his best side out, the Bluebirds have been building some momentum.

"We're coming off a pretty good Toowoomba round actually,'' he said.

"We didn't play that bad in each game. We were right in it.

"We had the majority of the squad there Friday night. Going forward we're just hoping to get the squad together and see how we go.''

 

Swifts players celebrate a goal during their recent run of improved performances.
Swifts players celebrate a goal during their recent run of improved performances. Rob Williams

Having taken over the A-Grade coaching this season, Petersen has been focused on developing the side.

He's pleased to see dual registered centre half Susie Marcussen and reliable Ipswich players like Amanda Stacey making valuable contributions.

Stacey scored two goals in Swifts' latest win.

"She's trying real hard. She's putting in every week,'' Petersen said.

McKenna Evans-O'Doherty has been fulfilling a number of roles for Swifts.

 

Dual-registered stalwart Susie Marcussen has been playing a vital role for Swifts in recent matches.
Dual-registered stalwart Susie Marcussen has been playing a vital role for Swifts in recent matches. Rob Williams

Brisbane striker Jane Ramsay has joined the squad with mum Rachael Mantell unavailable for the final two rounds of the Ipswich competition.

With the Combined Competition finals at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday, no other A-Grade games are scheduled.

The Hancocks men will tackle Toowoomba's leading side Red Lion at 2.30pm after the Wests women play Rangeville in the 1pm clash.

Both Ipswich club sides have been in solid form with the Hancocks men securing a finals spot by beating Wests 3-2 over the weekend.

Unbeaten Ipswich women's premiers Wests warmed up for their Combined Competition final by downing Hancocks 5-1.

Look out for a Combined Competition finals preview later in the week.

State of play

A-Grade men: Hancocks def Wests 3-2, Norths def Easts 7-2.

Grade women: Wests def Hancocks 5-1, Swifts def Norths 4-0.



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