Parkes defeated in Parkes-Dubbo Masters Challenge Cup
Parkes took on the Dubbo Masters Hockey teams across the weekend, going down what is hoped will be a long running contest.
The women's side downed their Parkes rivals 3 - 1, while the men levelled out at a 2 - 2 draw, ensuring the inaugural Challenge trophy stayed in Dubbo.
The action at Pioneer Park was overseen by a harsh sun and oppressive warmth, but all sides involved toughed it out to deliver some of the best, most experienced play of the year.
"Both sides are pretty competitive and we've always had that bit of competitiveness against each other, from opens upwards it's always been pretty even whenever we meet, it's always that want to win from both sides," Hardie-Jones said.
"It was a hard fought game, and most of them have been against Parkes we normally come up against each other quit a bit in different tournaments and state championships, so it's always a good test."
While Dubbo's Kate Corcoran and Parkes' Janelle Thompson were both awarded player of the match honours, Hardie-Jones said the whole home-team were deserving of praise.
Parkes' Denise Gersbach, who along with Hardie-Jones was critical for getting the Masters league off the ground, was very pleased with her side's effort this season.
"We finished with four wins and one loss, and although we weren't keeping a ladder or official scores, we finished on top," said Gersbach.
"The Challenge was a really good day, we had our chances throughout the game; we actually had a penalty stroke right on fulltime but we missed - it could have been a different story!"
Gersbach explains that some changes and improvements are on the cards for Masters in the region next year.
"We (Parkes and Dubbo) made up our own little season ending Parkes-Dubbo Challenge Cup that will be an annual thing, and we will take it in turns to host.
"Next year we will keep points and scores, and are aiming to start training in late January with the aim of the league beginning in February.
"We are also hoping the Men took a bit of inspiration from the Challenge so they can create a league of their own as well.
"The leagues will be perfect preparation for those players looking to compete at the State Championships, with trials scheduled for June, 2021," said Gersbach,
The Masters State Championships will take place in Newcastle during July 2021, and it will be the first time the men and women are both in the same place, making for a mega Masters of sorts.