Results in the opening round of the 2014 hockey season suggest that we are in for perhaps a new look in many of the grades.
Remember that in the A grade Loxton is the defending champion in both the men`s and women`s competitions.
In women`s matches over the weekend Berri showed that perserverance with a group of talented juniors in recent seasons plus the recruitment of Australian Country representative Naomi Wetherill may be the formula for success.
Certainly the team got off to a flying start with a 7-0 win over Waikerie with Wetherill, Kerry Miles and Emma Cuteri the best of an even unit. For Waikerie Carlye Waye, Ashleigh Baker and Lori Hocking were best.
In the other game Renmark played rival Loxton and as normal when the two clash it was close but on the occasion it was Renmark`s turn to triumph. Danielle Weeks provided both of Renmark`s goals in the 2-1 victory with the best players Tegan Moldovan, Sharon Pendle and Laura Strout. Best for a new look Loxton were Louise Smith, Rebecca Schaefer and Steph Baird.
Turning to the men`s matches Waikerie loomed as a major premiership chance as it still had some players to come when it overwhelmed Berri 8-1. Alex Fulwood, Rowan Hope, Cameron Hope and with 3 goals Jason Redemski were the best of a very good Waikerie lineup while Berri was best served by Chris Martin, Sam Walladge and Beau Delaine.
Meanwhile Loxton`s powerful lineup did not have it all its own way against Renmark with a Tim Pannell goal giving it the points 1-0. Named best for Loxton were Jimmy and Michael Lange and Ryan Hentschke while Renmark acknowledged Stephen Cresp, Nigel Stoeckel and Sam Cowey.
There was a close game in B grade men with Loxton defeating Renmark 4-3 but at Under 18 level Renmark displayed the depth the club has. Renmark won 7-0 over Loxton in both the matches.
In the other games in the age group Berri defeated Waikerie 2-1 in the men and the two clubs drew 2-2 in the women.
Talking of close games the Under 12 mixed were also keenly contested. A fine team effort by Loxton saw it win 1-0 from Renmark (Jaike Haynes, Kydan Radloff, Seth Monroe best) and Berri (Brooke Kelly, Josh Ridley, Riley Burgess) drew 1-1 with Waikerie (Abyiah Loffler, Lachlan Ebert, Natalie Hocking).