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Draw and win for Dalefield

Men

Dalefield 1
Victoria 1

Victoria goalkeeper Max Ruffell was the hero for his team, pulling off several crucial saves as his side held on for a 1–1 draw in a scrappy Wellington Premier Men’s clash at the Trust House Hockey Wairarapa Complex at Clareville.

Dalefield’s goal came in the second quarter from a goalmouth scramble after a penalty corner [PC] with player-coach Benedict van Woerkom getting in the telling touch. Victoria’s reply came against the run of play deep into the third quarter.

Despite having an overwhelming possession and territorial advantage, Dalefield couldn’t find a way to break down the visitors’ defence, with Ruffell, Wellington’s leading shot-stopper, pulling off some outstanding saves, much to van Woerkom’s frustration.

“A team like Victoria we should beat even on a bad day, but we had eight to 10 penalty corners, and we struggled to convert, and we hit the posts three times in the second half,” van Woerkom said.

“The set piece was the killer. They put numbers in the circle, and we found feet, so we did what we needed to do but couldn’t just score from set pieces.

“It was a scrappy physical game the way they wanted it to be played. Our turnovers were way too high, basics weren’t good enough, and it doesn’t help when some of your more experienced players – like myself – had their worst game this year. The reality is we are not good enough to be where we think we should be.”

The result leaves Dalefield in fifth place at the halfway stage of the championship.

Van Woerkom said that the players can now focus on the Intercity competition and “go back to the drawing board and look at structures and how we want to play.”

WOMEN

Dalefield 1
Victoria 0

A second-quarter goal to Olive Percy was all that separated Dalefield and Victoria in their Wellington Premier Women’s match at Clareville.

Dalefield were by far the better side for much of the game but struggled to beat the determined Victoria defence, with Percy’s strike from a PC the decisive moment in the game.

“We dominated the game and could have scored a lot more,” coach Michale Sacke said, “We played well, and it was just a case of not getting the ball in the back of the net.

“I would’ve liked more goals, but a win is a win, and we weren’t under too much pressure, and I don’t think our goalkeeper had to make a save; that’s how dominant we were.”

Sacke is pleased with the improvement shown by his young side and believes the players, including several secondary school players, will only get better as the season progresses.

Dalefield’s prospects weren’t helped with former Black Sticks striker Felicity Reidy sitting out the match with a niggly hamstring injury.

Midfielder Ella Kirkup was Dalefield’s player of the day.

Like their male counterparts, the women are fifth in their championship, which is now breaking for six weeks for the Intercity Championship.

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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