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Hard-fought wins for Dalefield

Felicity Reidy, left, has been playing some of her best hockey since returning to Dalefield. PHOTOS/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

MEN

HARBOUR CITY 4
DALEFIELD 6

“It was a weird game.”

Such was Farriers Dalefield player-co-coach Benedict van Woerkom’s reaction to Saturday’s win over defending champions Harbour City at the National Hockey Stadium.

Dalefield scored four unanswered goals in a dominant first quarter and led 5-2 at halftime before dropping their concentration and letting Harbour City back into the game.

“We wanted to play well from the start and keep that consistency,” van Woerkom said.

Zac Hardie scored a first-half hat-trick.

“We had a few chances in the first quarter, and we took them. Then they came back and changed a few things, and it was just our defence that let us down.

“When you get up by four or five goals, you expect it to become a bit easier, so guys don’t work as hard, and it’s often hard to try and maintain that consistency.”

Van Woerkom said a lack of defensive organisation let Dalefield down in the second half.

Zac Hardie scored a first-half hat-trick, Rowan Yeo scored two goals, and Dylan Price also got on the scoresheet.

The win maintained Dalefield’s 10-point lead in the championship, with one more win probably needed to lock in the top spot for the playoffs.

“We’re in a good position, and the crazy thing is we’ve still got Dane [Lett], Jayan [Pabhu] and Hamish [Finlayson] out, and that makes a huge difference – especially Dane.

“You just wonder where we can get to, and that’s a little bit scary for the opposition.”

WOMEN

HARBOUR CITY 1
DALEFIELD 2

Farriers Dalefield coach Michael O’Connor praised the team’s defence for their dogged women’s premier championship win over Harbour City at the National Hockey Stadium.

Harbour City took the lead in the first quarter from a penalty corner [PC] before Felicity Reidy equalised in the second quarter, and Abby Crawley converted a PC to put Dalefield ahead.

As was the case in recent rounds, Dalefield were hit with late withdrawals, with illness ruling out Charlize Baron, Grace Greig, and Brigette Mossman.

O’Connor said that tested the team’s depth, especially on defence.

“There were times when we had four or five PCs against us. [Captain] Michael [O’Connor] and Katie McAnulty were pretty good at stopping them, and if they did get through, Amy Rossiter-Stead stopped them.

“All the defenders went really well. Amy Bunny and Lauren Mahony, who was player of the day, had a lot of work to do but stuck to it and stopped a lot of Harbour’s attack.”

O’Connor also singled out former Black Stick Reidy, saying she had another outstanding game and was playing some of her best hockey since she returned to the club two years ago.

However, overall, O’Connor felt it was a good team effort.

“I thought Harbour had the edge in possession and were pushing it, but our girls fought hard and fought for each other, so I’m very happy.”

The win kept Dalefield third in the championship and just two points off Northern United in second place.

There would be no games next weekend because of the Matariki long weekend.

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