BATHURST'S over 45s veterans hockey team completed a perfect title run over the weekend as they claimed the Hockey NSW State Championship division two crown without giving up a single goal across the entire campaign at Tamworth.
The Bathurst side rounded out a brilliant tournament with a pair of 2-0 victories, winning the semi-final over New England before beating Northern Inland in the decider.
What made Bathurst's clean sheet achievement more impressive was the strength of their performances despite a lack of preparation the team was able to get in before their trip north.
Team captain Trevor Weal said expectations were relatively high but still tempered considering the tough build up.
"It was a pretty good tournament for us with 16 goals for and none against," he said.
"You head away hoping to do well but we haven't had any local men's hockey in Bathurst yet this year.
"We had the under 15s Australian Championships here over the school holidays which made it unable for us to get down there and train as much as we would have liked.
"Even though men's numbers are down in Bathurst the standard of hockey is still strong."
Bathurst started their tournament with a 2-0 win over the home side before returning later in the day to take down Central West rivals Orange 3-0.
The team didn't lose any momentum on day two as they bested Southern Highlands 3-0 and cleaned up Parkes 4-0 to enter the semi-finals in dominant fashion.
So how would the Bathurst team have felt if you'd told them pre-tournament they'd take out the title without conceding once?
"I would have said that was pretty wishful thinking," Weal said.
"There's some very good talent out there. You're playing against a lot of guys who have experience in Sydney comps. Fitness has a lot to do with it, and the weather in Tamworth was a lot hotter than what it's been in Bathurst so fatigue comes into play.
"These blokes come from all different clubs in Bathurst so you're not playing together week in and week out, plus a lot of them are playing in positions that they're not used to. We go away, have a good time together and give it our best."
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