Amy Johnson bagged a hat-trick in Dalefield’s big win over Karori. PHOTO/FILE

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Dalefield 4, Naenae 2

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Dalefield have finished the first round of the Hockey Wellington Men’s Premiership in top spot and as the only unbeaten team after their 4-2 win over Naenae at the National Hockey Stadium.

Dalefield started the better and their early dominance paid off when Michael Caldwell tipped the ball past the goalkeeper to open the scoring.

That fired Naenae into action and they equalised with a goal from a penalty corner.

Dalefield lifted their game in the second quarter and went out to a 3-1 lead through goals to player-coach Dane Lett, from a PC, and Nathan Whiteman.

However, Naenae weren’t to be denied and took advantage of a drop in intensity from Dalefield in the third quarter and closed the gap to one goal.

Dalefield reasserted their dominance in the final quarter, with captain Rowan Yeo scoring from a stroke.

Co-manager Bernie Lett said it was a much better effort than the previous weekend’s stuttering 3-0 win over Victoria.

“We started well with good intensity and created some very good chances,” he said. “We lost our way a bit in the third quarter when we gave up possession a bit too easily at times, and then in the final quarter we played some really good hockey.

“It was a really good effort considering we were missing Benedict van Woerkom and Trent Lett, two of our more experienced players.”

Johnson hat-trick for women

Dalefield 8, Karori 0

Dalefield moved to a share of the lead in the Hockey Wellington Women’s Premiership with their bonus points win over Karori.

Amy Johnson bagged a hat-trick, Felicity Reidy and Abby Crawley each scored two goals, and Brigitte Mossman added another in the one-sided rout against the bottom team in the league.

Coach Michael O’Connor was satisfied with the outcome.

“We didn’t know what to expect from them,” he said. “We knew they hadn’t been going that well, but you can always have an off day and they could have a big one, so yes it was a good win.

“It was a hard game to play as they were quite disorganised and didn’t have much structure – it was hard for our girls to get into a bit of rhythm.

“But we did well with our discipline and knuckled down and there was some good passing right through the whole team, and the strikers went hard out and finished well.”

O’Connor said the team talked about staying calm and avoiding a last quarter slump, which they have been guilty of in their last two games, and that led to an improvement in that area.

Jenna Anderson was named the team’s player of the day.

Dalefield share the lead with defending champions Harbour City, who they meet in a vital clash at the National Hockey Stadium on Saturday.