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Hutt too good for Dalefield

Ben van Woerkom scored Dalefield’s opening goal. PHOTOS/FILE

HOCKEY

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

MEN

Hutt United 3
Dalefield 2

A new-look Farriers Dalefield were no match for Hutt United, going down 2-3 in the opening round of Wellington Premier Men’s Championship at the National Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

The powerful Hutt combination dominated the defending champions, who have lost several key players from last season, from the outset, opening the scoring in the first few minutes.

Player-coach Ben van Woerkom equalised for Dalefield, only for Hutt to restore their lead and take a 2-1 advantage into the second half.

The lead was soon out to 3-1, before Black Cap Dane Lett closed the gap to one goal with a drag flick from a penalty corner in the final quarter.

But it was too little too late and the final scoreline flattered the defending champions, according to co-manager Bernie Lett.

“Hutt didn’t convert their opportunities. They had a quite a few PCs and [goalkeeper] John Forsyth made some excellent saves and they certainly had the possession and the territory, and were definitely the better side on the day,” he said.

“We were under the pump a fair bit in the second half and they could really have scored two or three more goals easily, but there was some really good defensive work.”

Bernie Lett said Dalefield have to come to terms with not having some of the players from last year.

“We have some guys, who have to adjust to some changes, and new guys coming up to speed with the level required to play in that grade, but it is only the start of the season.”

WOMEN

Hutt United 3
Dalefield 0

Katherine van Woerkom.

Dalefield player-coach Katherine van Woerkom said there were plenty of positives to take from Saturday’s three-goal defeat to Hutt United at the National Hockey Stadium.

The game was a repeat of last year’s final, which was won by Dalefield, but it was the beaten finalists who made a flying start, opening the scoring within the first minutes.

The score remained that way until the final quarter when Hutt added the gloss on a convincing victory.

Van Woerkom said the result wasn’t what they wanted, but it was always going to be a big game.

“We had five or six new girls playing and were missing Fliss [Felicity Reid] up front [injured], so we had four new strikers up there with Brigette Mossman, and we had a couple of girls play out of position,” she said.

“We all defended really well, and the girls put their bodies on the line, and our scramble defence was very good.”

Van Woerkom said the team can take a lot of heart out of the game against their experienced opponents.

“Hutt are a very good team, they know each other, they are well structured, they link their passing together well, but it’s a long season and we’re still developing as a team.”

Striker Maddy Taylor, a constant menace to the Hutt defence, and Claire McFetridge, who had a big game in defence, stood out for van Woerkom.

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