Ballina hockey player helps take gold in Masters World Cup
SCORING a winning goal in a World Cup final is something most sportsmen can only dream of.
But that is what happened when Ballina hockey player Scott Hamilton played in the Australian Over-40s team at the Masters World Cup in the Netherlands.
Hamilton scored the winning goal in a penalty shoot-out against the host nation.
It is the first time Ballina Hockey Club has had three world champions, with Grant Smith also in the team and Wayne Porter in the Over-45s team that beat England in its final.
"I don't think anyone else wanted to take the shot," Hamilton joked.
"There was a lot of pressure but I suppose I was thinking that I'd rather have it in my hands than someone else's.
"The crowd went nuts after it went in and I could not ask for anything more."
It was the highest level Hamilton has represented and his first year of Masters hockey.
Porter and Smith have already been involved at that level of competition for a couple of years.
"To have three guys considered world champions from one club is pretty special for us," Hamilton said.
"Word travels fast around Ballina and everyone has been really good to us since we've been back.
"I loved every minute of it over there from the trial games to the finals.
"Now I'm back to chasing 18-year-olds in the local A-grade comp but I really enjoy it."
Hamilton is hopeful of representing again when Australia hosts the next Masters World Cup in 2016.
Far North Coast also had a handful of other players in the 2014 tournament.
Gloria McPherson won gold in Over-60s women's while Jan Saul collected silver in the Over-50s.
Paul Leadbeatter claimed bronze in the Over-55s men.