Rowan Yeo brings attacking prowess. PHOTO/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Dalefield will be without their star player-coach Dane Lett for their top-of-the-table fixture with Hutt United in the Wellington premier competition today.

Lett is in Europe as part of the Black Sticks’ squad playing in the World Hockey League.

Although Lett will be missed against the defending champions, Dalefield, with a good blend of experience and promising young players, have the depth to cope.

Benedict van Woerkom and Rowan Yeo provide plenty in attack while Trent Lett is the defensive rock of the side.

Jordan Cohen, named in the national Under-21 squad, leads a talented group of youngsters, including Ethan Presow, Jacob Harp, and Jayan Parbhu – all members of the Capital team who won the national Under 21-championship this year.

Both teams are unbeaten, with Dalefield on 22 points and Hutt on 20.

Dalefield have the more impressive stats. From their six games they have scored 33 goals and conceded only four. Hutt have netted 29 times and conceded nine goals.

Traditionally, there is little between these two teams.

Their last clash was the 2018 final won by Hutt in a shootout.

The game starts at 12.15pm today at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt, as part of Hutt United’s Club Day.

Meanwhile, Dalefield women’s coach Michael O’Connor is expecting a free-flowing game when his team hosts Kapiti at Clareville today.

Dalefield are third in the championship on 10 points, Kapiti are fifth-equal on six points.

O’Connor said Dalefield could not take Kapiti lightly.

“They beat Northern United, and Toa. They play quite a good, open game.”

“We’re looking to carry on from our last game [a 1-0 win over Victoria University], releasing the ball better from the back, which we did really well, and creating more scoring opportunities.”

O’Connor will have two of his key players back for the match.

Captain Katherine van Woerkom, who has recovered from a nasty knee injury, and midfielder-striker Brigette Mossman, who is returning from a back injury, although O’Connor admits they’re a bit behind the eight-ball in fitness.

The game hits off at Clareville at 1pm today.