Katie Smart in action for Dalefield against Kapiti. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

HOCKEY

JAKE BELESKI
jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Both Farriers Dalefield premier hockey teams produced dominant first half displays to cruise to convincing wins against Kapiti on Saturday.

There would have been concern around the way both teams fell away in the second half, but the job was already done by then.

The women’s team raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, but from there it was a fairly-even match as they took a 4-1 lead into halftime and eventually won 5-2.

Petra Hall scored three goals and was named player of the match, while Abby Crawley scored the other two.

Coach Michael O’Connor was pleased with the win but said they could not afford to let their intensity drop in their matches to come.

“It was an odd sort of game – the first quarter was really good, and we were playing really well, but then we lost our way a bit and all we seemed to do was match what they were doing.”

Jaylin and Cassandra Dawson were two of Dalefield’s standout performers, while Katherine van Woerkom was in the thick of everything despite struggling with an injury picked up at NHL training.

O’Connor said it was important to keep winning even if the performance wasn’t perfect, but he knows they will face much sterner tests in their next three matches before the play-offs.

“We have to be more accurate in what we do.

“We can’t be resting on our laurels – we want to be either first or second going into the finals.”

Dalefield sit in first place on 34 points, with Hutt United in second on 30.

The men’s team’s match followed a similar pattern to the women, with Dalefield blitzing Kapiti in the first half and taking a remarkable 7-1 lead into halftime.

The second half was far more even, with Dalefield eventually winning 8-2.

Player-coach Dane Lett said the result was pleasing but left them with some room for improvement.

“We were pretty happy with how the second quarter went but in the first quarter we were almost half asleep and it took us a while to get into it.

“Once we got going and played to our game plan we blitzed them and made it pretty easy work.”

Dalefield went away from their game plan and played too much as individuals in the second half, and Lett said that was something they would need to rectify in the coming weeks.

“We just want to make sure we have a more consistent performance.

“We’re a bit patchy at the moment and we just need that clarity around our roles in the team.”

Dalefield are one point ahead of Hutt United at the top of the standings, but Hutt have a game in hand.

The two teams will meet in the final round before the play-offs on July 21.