Jordan Cohen on the ball for Dalefield. PHOTOS/JAMES CRAWLEY

HOCKEY

DALEFIELD 7

HUTT UTD 1

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

A stunning 7-1 victory over Hutt United has earned Dalefield home advantage and a massive psychological edge for the first round of the Wellington Premier men’s playoffs on Saturday.

Dalefield’s only loss in the championship was a 2-3 loss to Hutt in the first round, but the Wairarapa team avenged that in emphatic style on Saturday.

The home team were under pressure from the start but defied several strong Hutt attacks for a 0-0 scoreline at the end of the first quarter.

Rowan Yeo opened the scoring for Dalefield shortly after the resumption of play and captain Dane Lett added a second from a penalty corner.

Hutt scored 30 seconds before half-time to close the gap.

A second goal to Yeo and a Dylan Price deflection extended the lead to 4-1 in the third quarter.

Dane Lett scored two goals for Dalefield.

In the final quarter, Lett added another from a penalty corner, Zac Hardie scored from a deflection, and Wairarapa College student Ollie Bunny found the back of the goal with a brilliant individual effort to finish the scoring.

Co-manager Bernie Lett said the game was a lot closer than the score indicated.

“We played pretty well but were under the pump for a lot of the first quarter, and then we got some momentum with a goal early in the second quarter.”

“We controlled the game well and scored some nice goals, and we got the bonus point to go ahead of them by one point.”

Bernie Lett said it felt good to get one over such a tough opponent.

“They will be smarting. We’ve beaten them by a big score and got home advantage and that’s huge for the team.”

Meanwhile, the Dalefield women turned in an encouraging performance despite losing 3-4 to Hutt United at Clareville.

Dalefield were already guaranteed third place for the playoffs and could not progress any higher on the points’ table but were looking for a confident effort going into the business end of the season.

Hutt dominated the early stages of the game and had a 4-1 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Abby Crawley scored Dalefield’s first goal from a penalty corner in the second quarter.

Some stern words from coach Michael O’Connor had Dalefield lift their effort in the final quarter. Goals to captain Katherine van Woerkom from a penalty stroke and a second goal to Crawley from a deflection narrowed the gap to one goal.

Dalefield pushed hard for an equaliser but failed to convert several chances, including two penalty corners.

Goalkeeper Amy Rossiter-Stead had an outstanding game, saving a penalty stroke and pulling off several other brilliant saves.

Van Woerkom was named the home team’s player of the match for her control of the midfield and strong game on defence and attack.

O’Connor was happy with the outcome and said it was a good build up for Saturday when Dalefield play Victoria University in the sudden death playoff.