Farriers Dalefield got the bonus point wins over Victoria they needed to maintain their charge to top two finishes in their Wellington Premier Championships.
Dalefield turned on a much-improved performance from the previous Saturday’s disjointed 2-2 draw with Harbour City to subdue Victoria 5-0 at the National Hockey Stadium [NHS]
Player-assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom said Dalefield dominated from the start but failed to make the most of their early opportunities.
“We started well, and we must have had six or seven penalty corners [PC] in the first quarter, but we struggled to convert to start with, and then Dane [Lett] got the first from a PC,” van Woerkom said.
Lett was on the scoresheet again in the second quarter before Zac Hardie was taken out by goalkeeper Max Ruffle, earning a penalty stroke, which was converted by Rowan Yeo.
A field goal to van Woerkom, his first since returning from injury, gave Dalefield a healthy lead at the break.
“We played really well in the second quarter, and we had a lot of chances, so 4-0 was good, but we could have been six, seven or eight goals up in that first half. We played some good hockey, and we had more energy than last week.”
The loss of Hardie to injury left only one player on the bench, and van Woerkom said that led to a more cautious approach in the second half.
“We controlled the game a little bit more, and we weren’t quite as fast-paced on attack because of our legs, but we still created a heap of opportunities.”
Ben Schwass wrapped up the bonus point with the fifth in the final quarter.
Hutt United hold a nine-point lead over Dalefield and Harbour City, who locked together on 14 points, with three rounds to play until the semifinals. Dalefield are away to Hutt in a crucial game on Saturday.
Dalefield grabbed a valuable bonus point and strengthened their grip on second place in the women’s premier championship with an easy defeat of Victoria at the NHS.
Reese Robertson opened the scoring early in the first quarter from a PC before Victoria equalised soon afterwards, also from a PC.
That was the jolt needed to awaken the players, and from then on, it was all Dalefield.
Katherine Reisima, Emma Smith, and Alan Lowe scored for a halftime lead of 4-1.
Maddie Taylor found the back of the net in the third quarter, while in the final period, Felicity ‘Fliss’ Reidy scored two, Reisima added a second, and Rosie Rooderkirk completed a satisfying victory with the last goal.
Midfielder Smith was named player of the match, while Reidy also impressed co-coach Mike O’Connor.
“Emma had a real strong game and got a lot of intercepts. She’s pretty brutal and doesn’t take any prisoners.
“Fliss had a really strong game, and now that Brigitte [Mossman] is gone, she’s leading the young ones up front.”
Overall, O’Connor was happy with the outcome despite not being their best performance.
“We just needed to get our passing a bit better, it wasn’t quite as good and accurate as we wanted, but you can’t complain about a 9-1.”
With a cutthroat format which will see the top two teams go straight to the final, a win was vital for Dalefield, and the four points move them five clear of third-placed Hutt United and Harbour City.