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Title defence on the line


Dalefield vs Te Awa

Clareville 2.15pm

Farriers Dalefield must beat Hawke’s Bay side Te Awa this afternoon at the Trust House Wairarapa Hockey Complex to keep alive their chances of retaining their Intercity Trophy.

Both teams come into the game with a one-win, one-loss record, and the winner will progress to the top four, and the loser will be relegated to the bottom four.

The two have already met this year in a preseason game, with Te Awa taking the honours 3–1, although a better indication of their respective abilities could be their losses to Indians. Dalefield were beaten 2–0 [one goal and conversion], whereas Te Awa were thumped 11–3.

“They’ll be a tough team. They have some handy players, but they have a lot of weaknesses and it’s about us to make sure we target the right areas to exploit those,” Dalefield player-coach Benedict van Woerkom said.

That will likely see van Woerkom push into a more midfield role to create more opportunities for veteran striker Rowan Yeo, who hit goal-scoring form, scoring a hat-trick in their last outing against Feilding.

However, Yeo has been nursing a hand injury suffered at work, although he is expected to play, along with Daniel van Woerkom, who fractured a finger in the Feilding game.

Alex Sumenko-Bucknell is also likely to slip into midfield to add more strength to the spine, an area where Benedict van Woerkom believes Dalefield should excel.

“We should have a solid spine, and then it’s about me putting together a solid game plan and us going out and executing it.”

Veteran Cody Linton is out with a hamstring injury, and Dane Lett is with the Black Sticks at the Nations Cup in Poland.


HSHC vs Dalefield

Palmerston North 1.45pm

The return of former Blacks Sticks striker Felicity Reidy is a big boost for the young Farriers Dalefield side heading into this afternoon’s final Intercity round-robin match against High School Hockey Club [HSHC].

A back/hamstring injury has sidelined Reidy for the last few games, and the team has missed her goal-scoring prowess; however, coach Michael Sacke intends to take a cautious approach with the talented striker, with crucial Wellington Premier Championship games ahead after the completion of the Intercity Championship.

Reidy’s return means that Sacke will have a full contingent of players to choose from for one of the rare times teams this season.

Although both sides are out of the running for the top four, he said his players are focussed on picking up their first win of the lower North Island competition and he wants to build on their last outing, a 2–0 loss to Havelock.

“We played well, and I think that gave the girls a lot of confidence that we can compete with these other teams, and we if we do what we need to do, we’ll get results,” Sacke said.

“We need a win to build on that confidence, and I think we can. They were pretty confident and chirpy [on Wednesday] at training.”

This afternoon’s game will be the last for the experienced Finola O’Boyle before she heads overseas.

Like Dalefield, HSHC have yet to win in the Intercity and they will be without Black Sticks captain and former Wairarapa age group representative Megan Hull, who is away on international duty at the Nations Cup in Spain.

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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