Tristan returns to put Souths in the hunt

FULLBACK Tristan Hunt returns on a high from the Australian Country Championships to give Souths a much-needed boost in Hunter Coast Men’s Premier League Hockey tomorrow.
Nanjing Night Net

Hunt captained NSW Country to a dominant national titles victory in Geraldton last Saturday when they defeated tournament favourites Western Australia 6-1 in the final.

Former Souths striker Jaden Ekert, who is originally from Queensland, scored four goals for NSW, who conceded their only goal of the tournament in the decider.

It was Hunt’s first Australian Country title in nine attempts, four of which came with the Australian Defence Force.

He had led NSW to final defeat the past three years.

“It was one of the best experiences,” Hunt said.

“As a team, we were so cohesive. We had no individuals, we had lots of team players, which is what made us so unstoppable.”

Hunt will hope to stay on a high when he makes a timely return for Souths against Wests at Newcastle International Hockey Centre tomorrow from midday.

The Lions have lost their past two matches, to Norths and Gosford, and sit second on the table, one point clear of The Entrance. Norths are first and in the box-seat to take the minor premiership with three rounds remaining.

While Hunt is back tomorrow, utility Warwick Smith is out with a groin injury.

Smith played with the Australian Defence Forces in Geraldton and gained his first Australian Country call-up.

Souths regain Kyle Bosworth from suspension but John Fernance and Ben King are still overseas.

Norths take on University (3pm) at Broadmeadow, The Entrance take on Tigers (11.20am) and Maitland play Gosford (12.45pm) at Wyong.

In Women’s Premier League today at Broadmeadow,University’s Katie-Jayne Kelly returns against face Souths after playing with the triumphant NSW side at the Australian Country titles last week.

Oxfords will regain ADF representative Zalie Munro-Rustean for the game against Regals but teammate Shannon Dunn, who played for South Australia, is in doubt due to injury. Tigers play Central in the other match.

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