HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Dalefield women’s hockey coach Michael O’Connor is happy with his team’s first-up win in the Wellington Premier League.

O’Connor was not certain what to expect from league newcomers Northern United and the 3-0 result was “a good win against a team that’s going to be a handy side in the competition”, he said.

O’Connor was also somewhat nervous how his new-look team, which contained seven secondary school pupils, including two 15-year-olds [Amy Bunny and Kianna Dawson], would handle the pressure.

“Our plan was to keep it simple. We knuckled down and played how we wanted to. Our passing and receiving, we did really well. It was a nice and tidy game.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Dalefield broke the deadlock through Monique Edwards. That was followed up by goals, in the third quarter, to two of the team’s young guns, St Matthew’s pupil Abby Crawley, and Reese Robertson from
Wairarapa College.

Captain Katherine van Woerkom and vice-captain Michael O’Connor led by example. The experienced pair were strong in defence and influential in setting up many of Dalefield’s opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Dalefield men started their Wellington Premier League campaign with a dominant 9-1 thrashing of Victoria.

In a good all-round team performance, seven players scored for Dalefield.

Trent Lett got the scoreboard ticking over in the 10th minute with a goal from a penalty corner. Rowan Yeo [2], Ben van Woerkom, and Alex Sumenko-Bucknell also found the back of the net for a 5-0 halftime lead.

Zac Hardie, with two goals, Dane Lett and Oliver Bunny also scored to wrap up an impressive opening display by last year’s beaten finalists.

Co-manager Mike van Woerkom said: “The score could have been much higher but for [Victoria] goalkeeper Max Ruffell, who pulled off about six or seven outstanding saves.”

“It was a good wake-up call to the other teams that we can score goals from anyone on the field. We showed good composure at the back and good strength in the midfield. It was an all-round good effort,” van Woerkom said.