Dalefield player-coach Benedict van Woerkom. PHOTO/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Farriers Dalefield will keep alive their hope of a three-peat in the Wellington men’s premier championship if they beat Harbour City in today’s semifinal at Clareville.

Victory will send Dalefield to a remarkable seventh straight final and avoid a potential sudden-death playoff against the winners of the third-fourth game between Hutt United and Indians.

“We want to book our ticket to the final as soon as possible,” said Dalefield player-coach Ben van Woerkom, “so we’ll be giving it everything. We won’t be going in with the mindset that we’ve got an extra life.”

Dalefield will be at full strength with the return of Dylan Price from a hamstring injury.

“Dylan’s quite dangerous in the circle, he’s underestimated a bit, and he creates opportunities. He’s the sort of guy who creates a goal out of nothing and has an eye for goal.”

Van Woerkom said Dalefield’s experience of playing in every final since 2015 will hold the team in good stead.

“We have guys who have played in these playoff pressure type games at club level for the past seven years as well as at national level playing for Capital.

“It’s been a bit of a grind, and it takes its toll, but we’ve got through the season, and it’s like cool, this is what we play for.”

Harbour City were surprise finalists in 2020, eventually going down to Dalefield 3-1, but van Woerkom said the Wellington side have improved significantly over the past year.

“They could be little bit predictable, but I’m sure they will be savvy enough to throw something different at us.

They’re a young side, energetic and as keen as mustard, and they haven’t beaten us for a while so they will be very hungry for it.”

The match starts at 3.30pm today.



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