LIKE  LIGHTNING: Sparks' Josh Baxter and Souths' Alex Unsworth.
LIKE LIGHTNING: Sparks' Josh Baxter and Souths' Alex Unsworth. Paul Braven GLA250217HOCKEY

Lightning 9s receive cracking fan support

HOCKEY: THERE was no shortage of cracking action before the Lightning 9s hockey carnival came to town over the weekend.

Teams from across the region, including Rockhampton, participated in the two-day competition with Gladstone sides performing strongly.

An abridged version of the game, the Lightning 9s, as the name suggests, consists of nine-a-side hockey compared to the usual 11 per side format.

To make the action even more exciting, both teams are allowed one Powerplay during the contest, where the opposition side is reduced by a further two players, making it seven against nine for a four-minute period.

Halves are shorter too, with 20-minute periods compared to the usual 35 minutes.

The Lightning 9s concept lived up to its name on the field with a number of matches going to penalty shootouts.

Gladstone Hockey Association vice-president Sherri Davie said the competition received a great response from the public.

"It was a really good carnival with really tight scorelines and it was obvious the best teams were playing over the weekend,” she said.

"It was great to see so many people down at the games with full grandstands.”

The Rockhampton Goats defeated Gladstone Souths 3-0 in the open women's final, while it was an all-Gladstone affair in the open men's with Souths defeating Sparks 2-0.