Reese Robertson was outstanding in the midfield for Dalefield women. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV
The Dalefield men’s and women’s teams continued their unbeaten starts to their Hockey Wellington premierships, cruising to easy victories at Clareville on Saturday.
Dalefield 6 Toa 0
Dalefield coach Michael O’Connor was thrilled with the team’s third straight win to continue their unbeaten start to the women’s premiership.
Toa were expected to set up defensively against the competition front-runners but that didn’t prevent the Dalefield strikers creating havoc among the visitor’s backline.
The early dominance paid off with Jenna Anderson finding the back of goal twice in the first quarter, before Dalefield hit a bit of a slump.
“Our first quarter was really good,” O’Connor said. “Our passes looked good right from the get-go with good distance passes and we were beating the players with the ball a lot, but then in the second quarter we sort of fell away a bit.
“We talked about it after the game and we don’t know why, but we went a bit tentative and we were getting too close to them and made too much contact with their players.”
Despite the blip, Dalefield increased their lead through Jaylin Dawson for a 3-0 halftime scoreline.
Dalefield found their form again in the final two quarters, with goals to Felicity Reidy [two] and player of the day Brigitte Mossman for an important bonus point victory.
Although O’Connor said everyone played well, he had special praise for some of the younger players in the team
“Amy Bunny and Jamie Hicks-Wilton were strong at the back and one of our schoolgirls who played really well was Reese Robertson, who had a very strong game in midfield.”
O’Connor said the players are starting to set quite high standards for themselves.
“We talked after the game that we were happy that we won and we won quite well but we still have a lot to work on and the girls want to improve each week and that’s the right attitude.”
Dalefield 6 Northern United 0
Dalefield scored their third bonus-point win and took their goal tally to 21 for and zero against after three rounds of the men’s premiership.
The defending champions were always favoured to register a big win against Northern United, who are struggling winless at the bottom of the table.
After withstanding some early pressure from the visitors, Dalefield took control and opened the scoring when player-coach Dane Lett finished off a well-executed penalty corner.
A field goal to Alex Sumencko-Bucknell made the score 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Lett added a second from a penalty corner, and Benedict van Woerkom scored a brilliant individual goal with a reverse shot for a 4-0 halftime lead.
Dalefield were unable to add to their tally in the third quarter, but goals to Dylan Price and a third to Lett from a PC in the final quarter wrapped up the scoring.
Lett was pleased they found some form at PC time, after some struggles in earlier games.
“It was good to convert a few, we still left a few out there when we didn’t get our trap and drag right but it was good to get a few in the goal,” he said.
Despite the team scoring plenty of goals Lett said the most pleasing aspect of the performance was the defence.
“We’re always going to score goals, it’s just a matter of keeping the other team out, so keeping them to zero was our goal and to get six was okay but I thought we should’ve had a lot more.
“I’d probably give us a pass mark but there’s still a whole lot of room for improvement for us. I think we’re just a bit inconsistent at the moment, we’re flowing in and out of matches a bit too much.”
Lett singled out two of the younger players for praise.
“Ethan Presow and Nathan Whiteman both had one of their better games for Dalefield. They stood up and really held their own and it was good to see them show a bit of confidence.”
Dalefield have the bye next weekend and Lett said they will concentrate on a good week of training before they play traditional rivals Hutt United on July 4.
“We’re just trying to get better each game and just holding our standards on how we attack and defend, because we know we can’t just pretend to switch it on when we come up against a good opposition.”