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Dalefield drop United

The Farriers Dalefield men’s and women’s are well positioned for top-two finishes in their Wellington Premier Championships after two brilliant victories on Saturday.

MEN – HUTT UNITED 2 DALEFIELD 3

“A proud day to be wearing a Dalefield shirt, that’s for sure.”

That was the reaction of Dalefield player-assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom to his severely depleted side showing real grit and determination in ending Hutt United’s unbeaten run in the championship.

Dalefield went into the crucial match without several key players, including Black Stick and player-coach Dane Lett [illness], veteran striker Rowan Yeo, Alex Sumenko-Bucknell, Zac Hardie, Cody Linton, and Hamish Finlayson, while Hutt were boosted by the inclusion of international Harry Miskimmin, back from playing in Germany.

Van Woerkom felt it was a game Dalefield weren’t expected to win because of the absentees, but he said there was still a good core of quality players, and they brought in college students Jamie O’Hara and Toby Nelson, who both put in big shifts.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hutt opened the scoring in the second quarter from a questionable penalty stroke before Jarrod Yee equalised.

Yee made it 2-1 with an easy tap-in three minutes into the final quarter, and Kyle Craven added the third. Hutt pulled a goal back from a penalty corner with four minutes to play.

“It was a confidence booster for the guys, especially without those key players there and awesome for the other guys to come back in knowing the yards and the effort put in,” van Woerkom said.

The win consolidates Dalefield’s second place behind Hutt with two rounds before the semifinals, with the top two teams getting two lives in the playoffs.

WOMEN – TOA 1

DALEFIELD 7

Dalefield picked up a valuable bonus point win over Toa to maintain their push for a place in next month’s final.

With no semifinals and the top two teams going straight to a final, a win over Toa was vital for second-placed Dalefield, but in the end, they ran away with a surprisingly easy win.

Reese Robertson and Felicity ‘Fliss’ Reidy got the scoring underway in the first quarter.

Toa scored in the second period against the run of play before Charlize Baron added the third. Robertson and Alana Rowe slotted further goals in the third quarter, and Baron and Pippa Raleigh completed the scoring in the final quarter.

Co-coach Mike O’Connor said the team dominated from the start.

“Our defenders contained their attack well, and when we got the ball, we moved up the field really quickly, and once we got in their half, our midfielders and strikers put a lot of pressure on them and cut them open a fair bit.”

Dalefield are seven points clear of Harbour City in the race for a place in the final with three rounds to play.

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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