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Wairarapa wrap up fifth place

Felicity Reidy holds off the Northland defence. Reidy was the tournament’s top goal scorer. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

HOCKEY

Wairarapa 4
Northland 0

Wairarapa finished the national championships in Dunedin on a high, winning a hard-fought clash with Northland on Saturday and securing fifth place in the women’s tier-two championship.

After a tight scoreless first two quarters, Wairarapa exerted their dominance in the third period, and had the Northland defence under extreme pressure, and were unlucky not to have scored a field goal, before Reese Robertson finally broke the deadlock three minutes from third-quarter time with a stroke.

The constant pressure told on Northland, who had three or four players carded for back-chatting the umpires. That played into Wairarapa’s hands and they controlled the final quarter with goals to Ashleigh Andrews, Maddie Taylor and Abby Crawley to wrap up a convincing victory.

The win went some way to make up for missing out on the top four with a gut-wrenching shootout loss in pool play to eventual champions Southland.

On Friday Wairarapa cruised into the fifth-sixth playoff with a commanding 6-0 win over the NZ Defence Force, with four goals to Felicity “Fliss” Reidy and two to Charlize Baron.

Although the team missed out on their ambition of playing for championship honours, coach Michael O’Connor was impressed with the players’ attitude and fortitude, given the disappointment of failing to make the top four.

“The girls played some great hockey this week and did Wairarapa proud with their effort and commitment to give everything they had for every game,” O’Connor said.

“Fliss led the team well along with the leadership group of Michael [O’Connor], Brigette [Mossman] and Hannah Richardson all putting in a lot of work on and off the field to make it a very enjoyable week had by the whole team.”

Wairarapa finished the tournament as second highest goal scorers with 16, including a tournament high 13 field goals, while Reidy finished as the highest individual goal scorer, having found the back of the net six times.

Meanwhile, Dalefield had a strong presence in the Wellington side who were beaten 4-2 by Otago in the men’s tier one final.

Otago had a 4-0 lead midway through the third quarter, before goals to Dalefield’s Graeme Murrell and captain Dane Lett, both from penalty corners, closed the gap, but in the end it was too little, too late.

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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