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Double defeat for Dalefield teams

MEN

Dalefield 1
Northern United 2

Northern United scored their first win in several seasons over Farriers Dalefield, walking away with a deserved 2–1 victory in the Wellington Premier Men’s Championship at the Trust House Wairarapa Hockey Complex on Saturday.

Although the visitors had the better of the early running, Dalefield were the first to score after eight minutes with Rowan Yeo getting the vital touch in a goalmouth scramble.

Northern struck back four minutes into the second quarter when Ben Hampton was allowed too much space in the circle.

Although Dalefield started the second half with more purpose, Northern continued to apply pressure to the midfield and defence and their efforts paid off midway through the third period when Hampton found the back of the net.

Dalefield came close to equalising in the final period, but the final deflection eluded them on at least three occasions, and the visitors held on to lift the Schaefer Trophy – which is played for between the two clubs – for the first time in several years.

Dalefield were missing Black Stick Dane Lett, national indoor hockey squad members Benedict van Woerkom and Alex Sumneko-Bucknell, and an injured Nathan Whiteman, and that led to players playing out of position and what veteran Daniel van Woerkom described as “quite an unstructured performance from us”.

“I think we just had a bit of youth and inexperience through the midfield, and in terms of effort, I think we got out-worked at the end of the day,” van Woerkom said.

“It was one of those games; Northern have come a long way, and they’ve been building, and I feel they’ve got a bit more structure at the moment and a few more capable players and they were able to play their style of hockey and come away with the win.”

Van Woerkom felt three of Dalefield’s younger players – Cohen Scott, Nathan Lowe, and Luka Ballentyne – played well in a tricky game.

The loss has dropped Dalefield to fourth place in the championship.

WOMEN

Hutt United 4
Dalefield 1

Stand-in Farriers Dalefield coach Mike O’Connor believed the 4–1 loss didn’t truly reflect the closeness of the game between the two fierce rivals at Fraser Park on Saturday.

A goal in the first quarter, followed by two in the second period and the fourth in the third quarter, versus Dalefield’s sole effort in the second period, would suggest an easy day for the slick Hutt outfit, but O’Connor reckoned it was anything but.

“Even though we lost, it was probably one of our best games overall, and I think the score doesn’t really reflect the closeness of it, and a couple of their goals were reasonably lucky, and we were unlucky not to score more,” O’Connor said.

“Our ball retention was really high, which was pleasing, and our passing and receiving were pretty good throughout the whole game.

“The team is improving as they get used to each other with the new players in there, and if we can nail a few goals, I think we’ll give those top teams a good run for their money later on.”

Defenders Amy Bunny, Michael O’Connor, and Katie McAnulty had strong games on defence, while Fiola O’Boyle was a tireless worker in the midfield, and Olive Percy and Felicity Reidy were a constant threat up front.

Dalefield are fourth equal in the Wellington Premier Women’s Championship after five rounds.

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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