A solid second-half defensive effort saw Farriers Dalefield book their place in their first Wellington Premier Men’s Championship final in three years.s
Wills Taylor gave Dalefield the advantage with the opening goal in the first quarter of their semifinal against the skilful Indians at the Trust House Wairarapa Hockey Complex on Saturday.
Indians responded with an equaliser in the second quarter, and the teams looked destined to be going into the break locked at 1–1 until Dalefield were awarded a penalty corner [PC].
In the ensuing play, Graeme Murrell expertly placed his drag flick in the bottom corner of the net on the hooter for halftime, giving the home side a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Player-assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom said with the one-goal advantage, the second half was pretty much about controlling play.
“Near the end of the third quarter, we pretty much shut up shop and had more of a defensive mindset, and if we were going to attack, we would throw three or four guys forward; otherwise, everyone else just held back,” van Woerkom said.
“Our half court was the best it’s been all year, and we needed to be, and we took care of a couple of their skilful players, and we emptied the tank.
“They really didn’t create a lot of opportunities in the fourth quarter. They had a couple of chances, but they weren’t peppering us.”
The win sets up a final against fierce rivals Hutt United, who dispatched Harbour City 4-0 in the other semifinal.
The Dalefield women had the weekend off with the bye and will meet Northern United in the Women’s Premier final.