Hockey: Wests become first Newcastle men’s senior club to win all seven grades across same round

HISTORY: Newcastle representative Sam Mudford scored the goal that clinched wins across all seven grades for Wests on Sunday. It’s believed to be the first time any club has achieved the feat across that many matches in the same round. Picture: Jonathan CarrollThere were more nerves than most when Wests took to the field for Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League last weekend.

Outside the highly-anticipated top-four match in what has been the Rosellas best start to a first-grade season in many years, was another slightly more pressing club issue.

With six grades already successful earlier on Sunday, the first XI was all that stood between Wests and a little slice of Newcastle hockey history.

Sam Mudford’s sixth-minute goal ended up being enough to secure a 1-0 win and a memorable clean sweep for the Rosellas.

It’s believed to be the first time that any club in the Newcastle men’s association has claimed victory acrossall seven grades in a single round.

“I’ve had a lot of people come and ask me about a keg,” Wests president Simon Grant said.

“Seven from seven is a bit of mythical thing and had never happened before. It was a pretty special day for us and as a club we couldn’t behappier.”

Wests are the only outfit currently in a position to achieve the feat with teams entered in each available senior competition.Grant said the Rosellas have 95 registered members, but a recent shift in focus toward junior development has begun to pay dividends.

“There was a conscience decision about five or six years back to go that way,” Grant said.

Mudford, Hayden Dillon, Jacob Searle and Blake Hinton were those from Wests rewardedfor strong early-season formon Thursday with selection in Newcastle’s new-look representative squad that play the NSW State Championships at Moorebank on the June long weekend.

Next up in club landWests tackleThe Entrance at Newcastle International Hockey Centre on Sunday (1:30pm).

In other round-10 encounters at Broadmeadow on May 27and fifth-placed Souths meet winless University (12pm) while Norths host Maitland(3pm). Gosford has the bye.

Meanwhile, players inthe Newcastle District Women’s Hockey Associationwill wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence onSaturday following the death this week of long-timeNSW and n representative Olga Corrigan.

Both a state hockey and Hunter sports hall of famer, shehas the Corrigan-Quinn Cup named in her honour and played for when formerclub Central meets Oxfords.

The Hockeyroos have qualified for Sunday’s decider at the tri-nations Test series in New Zealand despite being upset 1-0 byJapan on Thursday night.

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