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Dalefield prevail in hard fought encounter

Rosie Rooderkirk [centre, in an earlier game], scored the opening goal and was player of the day in Dalefield’s 3-1 win over Northern United on Saturday. PHOTO/FILE

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

Northern United 1
Dalefield 3

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Dalefield moved a step closer to securing two lives for the playoffs in the Wellington Women’s Hockey Premiership with a 3-1 victory over a determined Northern United on Saturday.

The win at the National Hockey Stadium lifted Dalefield to 36 points at the head of the points table, with Hutt United second on 33 points, and defending champions Harbour City on 29 points.

Three points are awarded for a win, plus one bonus point is awarded for winning by five goals or more. Five points from their remaining three games would secure Dalefield an all-important top two finish and two lives for the playoffs.

Dalefield coach Michael O’Connor wanted a hard game and that’s what the team got from a tenacious Northern United.

Dalefield dominated for much of the game but found the staunch opposition defence difficult to break down.

“Northern have improved a lot and you can tell by the way they wanted to get stuck in,” O’Connor said.

“They defended really well but they were always looking to go on attack as well and credit to them they played really well, and they did put the pressure on us a bit, which is great for us as well,” he said.

Player of the day, midfielder Rosie Rooderkirk opened the scoring in the first quarter, and striker Jenna Anderson struck in the second quarter for a 2-0 halftime lead.

After a scoreless third quarter, Northern United closed the gap to one goal six minutes into the final quarter, before striker Abby Crawley sealed the victory with two minutes to play.

O’Connor was happy with the team’s overall performance.

“I was a little bit disappointed that we leaked that goal in the final quarter,” he said. “That was just us being asleep at the wheel, but the girls came back and scored another one after that and you can’t really complain.”

O’Connor said Dalefield were guilty of dribbling too much when their passing game had been impressive, and at times they took the wrong options.

“We had loads of shots on goal, but instead of finding the goal we found the goalie all the time and probably could have done a bit better in that regard and moved the goalie around a bit and perhaps taken a couple of different options.”

O’Connor said Rooderkirk, assistant coach-player Katherine van Woerkom, captain Michael O’Connor, Brigitte Mossman, and Anderson all had strong games.

Dalefield play the only team to have beaten them this season, Hutt United, at Clareville on Saturday, with the winner almost certain to secure the number one seeding for the playoffs.

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