THERE were big smiles from Bathurst's littlest hockey representatives on Monday afternoon - they were celebrating being the undefeated Kim Small Shield champions.
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The Bathurst under 11 girls side ran, tackled, scored and smiled their way to success, finishing four points clear of their nearest rival in the Tamworth based tournament.
The victory was sealed with a draw in the final against Northern Sydney Beaches, coach Niel Howard delighted at what his young squad achieved.
"We played against Newcastle, Illawarra, Grafton, North West Sydney, Tamworth, Canberra - so we played all the number one sides," he said.
"We had a lot of nil-all draws, but we got a few bonus points at the start, if you scored three or more goals you got a bonus point.
"We had two lots of five-point wins with those bonus points and we had a couple of 1-0 wins, so we ended up on 28 points and the nearest was 24 points."
Amongst the Bathurst squad that travelled to Tamworth were four players who had previously participated in the annual under 11s tournament - Chloe Howard, Ruby Livingstone, Ruby Cole and Ella Crawford.
They used their experience to help their team-mates, 12 of whom were playing in their first major representative event.
Every player in the side - many of them daughters of Bathurst Premier League Hockey talents - did the city proud.
They played eight 25-minute games over the three days, Sunday an especially tough day as they contested both indoor and outdoor games.
"We only had two goals scored against us all weekend. We started off well and scored seven goals on day one and we scored three goals over the two days after that," Howard said.
"We attacked really but we defended really well too, our strikers came back and helped our defenders.
"We still created a lot of opportunities in attack, but a lot of them were saved by goalkeepers. At one stage I said to them 'Can we stop warming up goalkeeper's hands up and start scoring goals?'."
That request from Howard was met with thumbs up from his players.
Bathurst topped its pool and went into Monday's final against Northern Sydney Beaches as the side which had amassed the most points.
The draw in that match sealed them the trophy named after former Hockeyroos star and Sport Australia Hall of Famer Kim Small.
"We did this carnival last year and were undefeated in B division. Now we're in A division and we've come through undefeated in A division," Howard said.
"So they did really well."
A Bathurst mixed team also competed at Tamworth in York Cup. It had a "Few wins, few draws, few losses but overall a lot of fun."
They played seven field games, two indoor games and finished the carnival with a 6-0 win.
Eight members of the successful under 11s side will back up and play at this weekend's under 13s state championships, which will be hosted by Bathurst.
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