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Dalefield qualify for Intercity final

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Dalefield 4

Hutt United 2

Farriers Dalefield booked a place in the inaugural Intercity final with a strong 4-2 defeat of the previously unbeaten Hutt United.

However, the game at the National Hockey Stadium [NHS] wasn’t without its controversies.

Dalefield were belatedly advised by Wellington Hockey that they couldn’t name player-assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom and Zac Hardie on the bench because the pair, who are returning from injury and illness, hadn’t played in any of the three group matches.

That left Dalefield short on the bench, but it mattered little as they controlled the semifinal from the start.

Player-coach Dane Lett scored with a drag flick from a penalty corner [PC] in the first five minutes before Kyle Craven made it 3-0 with a field goal and shootout conversion.

Hutt bounced back with a controversial goal when the ball appeared to hit the player’s body and another unconverted field goal to make the score 3-2 heading into the final period.

Dalefield sealed the win with a superb field goal started by a brilliant solo run by Lett, who broke out from defence, ran almost full field and fed Rowan Yeo to finish with a backhand shot. Yeo blew his conversion attempt when he scuffed his shot after having rounded the goalkeeper.

Hutt had a late chance to equalise with a PC which they let run outside the circle so it would be a field goal, but the Dalefield defence held strong.

Van Woerkom said Black Stick Lett was exceptional in an all-round strong defensive effort, while Daniel van Woerkom was player of the day.

Dalefield will play Indians in Saturday’s final.

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Northern United 6 Dalefield 3

“The score doesn’t reflect the way the game was played.”

That was the view of Farriers Dalefield co-coach Mike O’Connor after his team went down to unbeaten Northern United in their Intercity semifinal at the NHS on Saturday.

Like their male counterparts, Dalefield had to play the game short of players on the bench after fill-in Katie-Anne Saywell couldn’t be listed in the team because she hadn’t played in the round-robin.

That mattered little as Katherine Reisima gave Dalefield the lead from a PC, but that didn’t last long in an action-packed first quarter, with Northern scoring two field goals, converting one for a 3-1 advantage.

Player of the day Felicity Reidy then scored a field goal but failed with the shootout conversion. The second quarter was scoreless, and Emma Mcleod equalised in the third period.

A field goal which was converted, and a PC near the end saw Northern come away with a flattering victory.

“It was a bloody good effort, and it was a lot more even than the score suggests,” said O’Connor, who was impressed with the determination shown with only two players on the bench.

“That showed the character of the team, and some players only a minutes rest before they came back on, and they pushed themselves right through to the end, and they all played really well.”

Dalefield will line up in the third-fourth playoff against Harbour City, who lost in a shootout to Hutt United.

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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