Katherine van Woerkom wins possession for Dalefield. She scored a hat-trick in their 8-2 win. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
By Gary Caffell
Dalefield finished preliminary round play in the Wellington premier division women’s hockey competition with a decisive 7pt advantage on the points table.
The defending champions outclassed Kapiti 8-2 at Clareville on Saturday to move to 43pts from 12 wins, one draw and one loss.
Harbour City, who suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Eastern Hutt in their latest game, finished on 36pts, followed by Eastern Hutt 31, Victoria University 27, Kapiti 16, Karori 11, Indians 7, and Toa 3.
Dalefield’s encounter with Kapiti was the ideal dress rehearsal for next weekend’s playoff match with Harbour City, the winner of which will go straight to the final.
The loser will have a second chance in the repechage seven days later.
Coach Michael O’Connor was keen for his side to show patience in building their attacks and was delighted with the way they responded to that challenge.
“There were a couple of lapses of concentration but for the most part the passing and support play was exactly how we wanted it, there were some really nice goals scored,” he said.
Sharing the player of the match spoils for Dalefield were Katherine van Woerkom and Michael O’Connor, with van Woerkom finishing with a hat-trick of goals and O’Connor one.
The Anderson sisters, Jenna and Kirsty, impressed too, scoring two goals apiece.
The Dalefield men were also looking to go into next weekend’s Wellington premier division top four play offs on a high note when they met Indians at Clareville, but coach Willie Schaefer was unhappy with most aspects of their play in a 1-1 draw.
“I wouldn’t say it was complacency but we struggled to get any continuity into our game, we weren’t accurate enough and turned far too much ball over,” he said.
The only Dalefield goal came from a penalty corner and was scored by perhaps their most consistent player in Dane Lett.
Dalefield did not taste defeat through the preliminary rounds but had five draws alongside their nine wins, giving them 37pts, 6pts less than Hutt, who will they meet next weekend in a game which will decide which of the two go straight to the final.
Then came Northern United and Indians, both on 27pts, Harbour City 25, Victoria University 16, Naenae 5, and Karori 1.