Victoria in line for victory

Inline hockey fans have been treated to a master class of fast-paced action as the sport’s finest athletes converged on Moe for its national championships.

The Inline Hockey National Championships commenced at Moe’s Stadium 34 on Saturday with teams representing most states competing for the title of national champion across 12 divisions.

At time of publication on Tuesday, Victoria’s senior women were sitting top of the table, with three wins and one tie from four games.

The Victorian women tied 1-1 against Queensland on Tuesday after conceding a late goal following a turnover.

Coach Dwayne Pareira said the result was a “bit frustrating” given his team’s control of the game.

“We played very well – we had the possession for about 80 per cent of the game and in the end they had that one little turnover and it cost us the tie,” Pareira said.

“In terms of the campaign, we’re still at the top, but Queensland are behind us by one point only.

“Overall, the team was fantastic today, they just didn’t finish off.”

His team was due to play Queensland again yesterday before a final clash against Tasmania today.

Despite sitting top of the table, Pareira said his side faced some dangerous opponents.

“Queensland’s a dangerous side, but as the tournament’s gone on Tasmania’s now becoming a threat as well – it’s a bit of a three-way thing,” he said.

In the senior men’s division, Victoria was placed third on Tuesday after two matches.

The Victorian men defeated Queensland 5-1 in their opening bout, before losing 3-1 to South Australia.

Games will be played at the stadium all week, with grand finals to be staged on Saturday.

Stadium 34 manager Matt Beatson said the event had drawn strong support from spectators eager to check out the action.

“We’re close to having 700 come through a day, but not all at the one time,” Beatson said.

“It’s huge for the stadium, it’s huge for Moe – events like this are good for everyone.”

He said the tournament had featured some good hockey and expected the quality to improve as the tournament progressed.

“I think as the tournament builds and we head into the finals we’re going to see some really decent hockey,” he said.

“A lot of the states and teams who haven’t played on this rink before will… get used to it and I think when the finals come there’ll be some decent saves from the goalies.”

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Stadium 34 is located at 34 Bell Street, Moe.