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Dalefield bag crucial bonus point

Farriers Dalefield picked up their second bonus point victory in the Wellington Women’s Premier Championship with a hard-fought 6–1 win over Upper Hutt at Maidstone Park on Wednesday.

After a scoreless first quarter, the defending champions put the game out of reach in the second quarter, scoring four goals through Charlotte Whyte, Olive Percy [two] and Felicity Reidy. Alana Low added the fifth in the third quarter, and captain Michael O’Connor completed the scoring in the final period.

Stand-in coach Mike O’Connor felt that the win against difficult opponents continued the improvement shown in last Saturday’s 5–0 win over Karori.

“They had a lot of experienced players, and they probably tended to play an older style of hockey with a lot of big hits from the back, which made it a bit hard to get a rhythm going,” Mike O’Connor said.

“They were quite tough defenders as well, and the young ones found out what women’s games are all about, but they did really well, never wavered in effort, and kept a high work rate for the whole game.”

Dalefield face a quick turnaround, taking on Hutt United at Fraser Park, and Mike O’Connor said their traditional foes would be a completely different kettle of fish.

“We won’t be awarded the same time and space as the last two games. If we stick to the basics and do the basics really well and build on that, I think we’ll be right.”

In the Wellington Men’s Premier Championship, Farriers Dalefield have their first home game of the season up against Northern United at the Trust House Wairarapa Hockey Complex at Clareville tomorrow.

Dalefield come into the game on the back of a confidence-boosting 4–0 win over Indians last week with a severely weakened side. That followed an opening round 3–3 draw with Harbour City, who beat Northern 3–0 last week.

That latter result would suggest Dalefield will start hot favourites to register their second win of the competition; however, the home side will again be understrength, with several missing from the usual full-strength starting lineup. Black Stick Dane Lett is away on international duty, player-coach Benedict van Woerkom and Alex Sumenko-Bucknell are at a national indoor hockey camp in Stratford, while Daniel van Woerkom, Hamish Finlayson and Nathan Whiteman are among the others out. Their absence is offset by the return of veteran striker Rowan Yeo and under-21 triallists Cohen Scott and goalkeeper Xander Redgrave.

Ben van Woerkom is confident though that there is enough depth in the side to take the points against a side he describes as “a typical hardworking, grafting, basic hockey type of team” that if you don’t work hard against “can make you look a bit silly.”

“First and foremost, get the win, and depending on how things track, we can focus on getting that five-goal buffer for that bonus point, but we’ll just be happy with the points and keep that tally ticking over.”

The match will also be the first for the premier men on the new blue turf. Hit off is at 12.30pm

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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