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Slow starts hurt Dalefield

Harbour City 2

Dalefield 0

A sluggish start cost an understrength Dalefield any chance of victory in the opening game of the Wellington Premier Men’s Championship at the National Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

Dalefield were without four of their key players in Black Stick Dane Lett, Graeme Murrell, Benedict van Woerkom, and Rowan Yeo, and their absence told at both ends of the field.

Assistant coach van Woerkom felt both Harbour City’s goals, which came in the first two quarters, were soft, and although Dalefield played much better in the second half, he said missing the regular spine of the team proved the difference.

“We had a lot more chances than them, and we were a bit more aggressive in our press, but we just lacked the firepower up front and someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck and say, I want to score a goal, and outmuscle a defender and get a good shot away,” van Woerkom said.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but there were a lot of positives we took out of it, and with the quality we have to come back in over the next few weeks, it’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Harbour City 4

Dalefield 3

“It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, it was average.”

That was the assessment of Dalefield women’s co-coach Michael O’Connor of the side’s 4-3 loss to Harbour City at the National Hockey Stadium.

Dalefield started promisingly, with Brigette Mossman finding the back of the net in the first few minutes, but then went off the boil as the home team equalised in the first quarter and added three more goals in the second and third periods.

Goals to Felicity Reidy and Katherine Reisima in the final period made for a thrilling finish, but in the end, Dalefield left their run too late.

“We were all over them in the last quarter, but the first three quarters, we let ourselves down a bit and were probably guilty of not doing the basics that well,” O’Connor said.

“They were marking really well, and we weren’t moving towards our passing, and they were cutting it off or disrupting our ability to get hold of the ball and flow forward.

“Everyone had a good crack at it, and we still had our heads up at the end, which was good.”

Alana Low was player of the day, while O’Connor had special praise for new goalkeeper Luanna Felix, who was violently ill minutes before the game but still played and pulled off some vital saves.

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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