Hardie-Jones masters shoot-out to seal victory

NEW SOUTH Wales were the victors of a recent Australian Women's Masters Championships, and Dubbo's own Tracey Hardie-Jones was a part of it.

NSW won 2-1 in the final against Victoria, in a nail-biting finish that went beyond extra time and finished in penalty shoot-outs.

The NSW team travelled to Melbourne for the competition, where they played Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and Victoria.

Hardie-Jones remembered playing 35 minutes each way, then seven minutes each way in extra time and finally two rounds of penalty shoot-outs, which she could only partly participate in due to a finger injury.

"The shoot-outs were one-on-one and we had eight seconds to score. It was between an attacker and the goal-keeper... it was very stressful and full on," Hardie-Jones said.

The 2-1 victory sealed their win, after a fairly competitive competition.

Hardie-Jones was the only Dubbo competitor in the state team, which consisted of players from the north and south coasts and from other parts of NSW.

She has had quite the successful year playing the game she loves, despite a knee injury sustained in 2011 that she is still recovering from.

No stranger to the Masters Championships, Hardie-Jones has also participated in the Trans-Tasman playing for Australia and was a shadow player for a competition played in England.

For someone who has played the sport for most of her life, Hardie-Jones is showing no signs of slowing down.

"I don't want to slow down. This past season I've been concentrating on indoor hockey, and travelled to Sydney every weekend to play. It was a fantastic experience and great to benefit from different coaches to what I was used to in Dubbo," she said.

Awarded the Coach's Player of the Year award while in Melbourne for the Masters Championships, Hardie-Jones was thrilled to be recognised for a sport she loved to play.

"The award topped off a good year for me. I've had some fantastic training over the years and I truly believe that if you have the drive and vision for a sport, you deserve to be recognised and I'm honoured to have received the award.

"I was also lucky enough to have received the Waratah Award for 11 years representing NSW and that for me was a milestone. It brings back to reality that wow factor that I'm playing my best and it really keeps me motivated to play for many years to come.

"It was a good achievement for me."

anthony.cini@ruralpress.com

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