THEY only conceded one goal all tournament, but that was enough to bundle Port Macquarie out of the state hockey championships in the semi-finals.
The association’s under-13 girls team sailed through the championships in Taree undefeated in four games until a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.
Coach Jarrod Smith was satisfied with their overall style of play that saw them push some of the bigger associations all the way.
“It was a really good result for the under-13 girls; they were excellent,” he said.
“I’ve coached for a long while and they’re one of the first rep teams that bought into the philosophy that we wanted to play.
“I can honestly say we played a style of hockey all weekend that was consistent with what we’re trying to do.”
Smith admitted the style “didn’t always work”, but a willingness to scramble in defence ensured they kept clean sheets until the semi-final stage.
“It’s a real credit to a bunch of 11, 12 or 13-year-old girls to be able to follow a game plan and try and execute it five games on the trot,” he said.
“It didn’t always work, but the girls kept turning up and playing a style of hockey that was beyond a lot of their years.
“We had one goal scored against us all weekend and that was the one that bundled us out.
“If we’d have gotten a draw there, being higher on the ladder we’d have gone through, but it is what it is – that’s the game we play.”
Port Macquarie quartet Zara Ferguson, Eve Walker, Teleah Walker and Lillianah Williams were selected in the initial 45-player NSW squad for the state selection trials later this year.