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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Dalefield on target for semis

Both Farriers Dalefield teams need wins in their final round-robin games this afternoon against Palmerston North College to be assured of places in the semifinals in their Intercity Championships.

The equation is probably easier for the men after their 13-1 win over Bay Independent gave them a massive goal difference, which would be to their advantage should they lose and finish up in a tie for second.

However, Dalefield assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom said they won’t be resting on their laurels and is confident of finishing with a win over a side they beat 4-0 in preseason.

“We played really well last time, and if can continue to build on that with guys being unselfish and let the ball fly, then we should have a good day at the office,” said van Woerkom, who expects a tough battle against the tough College team.

“They have some guys, who are experienced campaigners and have played NHL-level hockey for a few years, but they’re getting a bit older, they are a very forward team, and they will engage in the physical aspect of it.”

One of the innovations of the new competition involving teams from Wellington, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay is the conversion, where the scorer of a field goal gets the chance to score an extra point with a shootout conversion.

In the win over Bay Independent, Dalefield scored 10 goals, including four field goals, with three of those converted.

Van Woerkom said it’s a fun dynamic and adds an extra edge to the games.

The calculation for the Dalefield women is more straightforward, and they must beat College to make their semifinals.

Both teams have suffered losses to Hutt United, although Dalefield only went down 3-2, and College were beaten 3-0.

Co-coach Michael O’Connor is reading little into those results, though, and he expects a torrid battle with an opponent he knows little about.

“It’s a game both us and them have to win if we want to do well in the Intercity, and I’m not sure what will happen, but we’re definitely going to go for it,” said O’Connor, who stressed the need to quickly refocus on their own game, after having last weekend off because of King’s Birthday.

“We’ve improved, and we’re improving each game, but at times we let ourselves down with little bits and pieces, so we have to keep our concentration up for the whole hour of the game.”

Newly crowned Wairarapa Times-Age Supreme Sportsperson of the Year winner Emma McLeod and Charlize Baron are the only players unavailable for the clash.

The Dalefield women hit off at 12 midday, and the men start at 1.45pm at the Hockey Manawatu turf in Palmerston North.

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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