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Below-par, but Dalefield still pick up a victory

Dalefield 2
Northern United 0

Farriers Dalefield finished the first phase of the premier men’s 2023 season with a win, but not with the type of performance they would have liked heading into the intercity competition.

The 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Northern United at the National Hockey Stadium on Saturday started well enough, but it lacked the sought-after polish as the game progressed, leaving sidelined assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom to ponder why the team’s form
had dropped off so noticeably.

“Our fundamentals were poor, to be perfectly honest. The traps and other basics weren’t good enough,” he said.

“No matter who the opposition is, we will struggle to find the net at these higher levels of competition if we don’t do the simple things well. And we didn’t on Saturday.”

Dane Lett [pictured] neatly slotted home two drag flicks from penalty corners in the first quarter to give Dalefield plenty of impetus, but the initial momentum ebbed away on the back of too many basic errors. The scoring opportunities taken in the first quarter fell away in the second, third and fourth quarters.

“We got the three points with the result we were after, but we will need to do much better if we want to use the structures and strategies we aim to implement in our next matches,” van Woerkom said.

Dalefield had just two substitutes for the match, with core players Zac Hardie [illness] and van Woerkom [back injury] out for five weeks. The playing squad has yet to settle on the usual numbers five weeks into the season.

While van Woerkom was less than pleased with some aspects of Saturday’s match, he was happy with the defensive effort and the first clean sheet of the competition.

“Jayan Parbhu and Nathan Whiteman have been solid for us so far, and they were key at the back for us.”

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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