Dalefield player-coach Katherine van Woerkom, foreground, is wary of an under-performing Victoria. PHOTO/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Farriers Dalefield’s destiny is in their own hands when they play Victoria tonight in a deferred Wellington women’s premier match.

The game was initially scheduled for Clareville on July 17 but was postponed because of atrocious weather.

Attempts last week to reschedule the fixture failed, and Wellington Hockey declared the game a draw, which left Dalefield in third place and facing a sudden-death semifinal in the first round of playoffs.

However, Dalefield and Wairarapa Hockey thought there was a reluctance by Victoria to travel to Clareville midweek and made a submission to Wellington Hockey along those lines.

Subsequently, that was accepted, and the game will be played at 7.30 tonight at Clareville.

A Dalefield win would give the defending champions the valuable two lives for the playoffs and set up a mouth-watering clash with top-of-the-table Hutt United on Saturday.

The winners of that game will go directly to next month’s final, and the losers will get a second chance against the winner of the third-fourth playoff.

A draw or a loss tonight will see Dalefield play Northern United in that sudden-death clash.

Dalefield are weakened for tonight’s game with Wairarapa College students Maddie Taylor and Amy Bunny, and St Matthew’s Kianna Dawson committed to their school teams in the Intercity secondary schools championship.

However, Dalefield player-coach Katherine van Woerkom has called on the experienced duo Libby Noema and Kelly Lissington to fill in, giving the home side 15 players for the game.

Victoria held Dalefield to a surprise 2-2 draw in their first-round encounter in Wellington and despite the visitors’ lowly fifth place in the championship, van Woerkom was not prepared to write them off.

“They are a good side, and have a very good goalkeeper, Rachel Lilley, who plays like an extra defender,” she said.

“The girls are pretty focused to win, but we have to be careful that we don’t let the frustrations of the last week boil over, and we need to concentrate on playing our own game.”



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