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Dalefield expecting tough battle

Dalefield’s Katherine Van Woerkom battling for possession with an Indians opponent at Clareville last weekend. Dalefield won 5-0. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

By Gary Caffell

Farriers Dalefield have good reason not to take Indians lightly in their Wellington premier division men’s hockey match at the National Hockey Stadium late tomorrow afternoon.

While they have eventually emerged as overall champions in the last two seasons, Dalefield have tasted defeat at the hands of Indians in both of them and coach Willie Schaefer is anticipating another closely-fought encounter on this occasion.

“They (Indians) are a dangerous side and, frankly, we usually find them difficult to play against,” Schaefer said.

“They’ve got some very talented players and if they cut loose they can do all sorts of damage.”

Dalefield go into tomorrow’s match on the back of an impressive 9-2 Conference Cup win over Central West in Whanganui last Sunday, a victory which came a day after a 6-1 win over Naenae.

The same squad who played in those games will be on deck tomorrow with Schaefer saying the primary objective was to maintain consistency.

“We’ve been a bit up and down through most of the season and it would be nice to think we could play like we did last Sunday week after week from now on,” Schaefer said.

Dalefield currently sit third equal with Northern United on the points table with 11 points.

Ahead of them are Hutt (15) and Harbour City (12) and behind them on eight points are Indians and Victoria University, Naenae (3) and Karori (0).

For the second successive weekend, the Farriers Dalefield women’s team will be missing several regular players when they face a stiff challenge against Victoria University, also at the National Hockey Stadium tomorrow.

Being depleted didn’t stop the Dalefield side from registering a 5-0 win over Indians at Clareville last Saturday but with Victoria University sitting in third place on the competition ladder, one place behind Dalefield, they can expect much stronger opposition here.

“We’ve got five out with injuries or work commitments so it’s not ideal but we’ll still be competitive,” Dalefield coach Michael O’Connor said.

“We dug deep last weekend and we will have probably have to dig even deeper this time round.”

One of the success stories for Dalefield in their win over Indians was college student Georgia Percy who came into the squad to help boost numbers and was so impressive she was named player of the match.

She will be again be in the side tomorrow.

Unbeaten Harbour City leads the women’s premier points table with 17, followed by Dalefield (15), Victoria University (13), Eastern Hutt (10), Kapiti (6), Karori (4), Indians (3) and Toa (3).

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