Premier 1 report – 7 April 2018
A new club announced its arrival and another was sadly absent as the P1 competition hit off in cool conditions on Saturday. Recently amalgamated Hutt United started their new life in a smart red, maroon and black strip with big wins by their men’s and women’s teams. The result of a merger last year between Hutt and Eastern Hutt Hockey Clubs, both teams showed they will be hard to stop, despite some early season rust that was evident in all games.
A feature of this season is the absence of the Indians men and women teams, leaving just seven sides in each competition. In the first week it was 2017 women’s champions Dalefield and their male counterparts who had the bye.
Hutt United’s first outing was not flawless but contained plenty of promise for the season ahead. Their pace, accuracy and strong finishing were too much for Kapiti, who have replaced Karori in the grade after beating them in a promotion/relegation game last season. Ollie Logan and Scott Barnett each scored twice for Hutt, while Sam Miskimmin, Callum Olsen and Jimmy Cavanaugh netted once each. Alex Rollander from a penalty corner had the honour of scoring Kapiti’s first ever Premier 1 goal, to make the final score 7-1.
Victoria twice came from two goals down to earn a 4-4 draw with Harbour City in an entertaining game. A field goal to Jared Jones was the sole first half scoring, then Gabe Kepes made it 2-0 early in the second. Jack Burgess and Callum Sykes brought Vic level, only for Josh Symonds’ double to restore Harbour’s margin. Late strikes by Kieran Wells and Alastair Birchall at penalty corners salvaged a draw for the students.
Naenae, now under Capital Men’s representative coach Hemant Lala and bolstered by several of last year’s Indians’ side conceded two late goals to go down to Northern United 3-2. Two goals to former Victoria University striker Kieran Whitmore and one to Hemesh Lala were enough for Northern to edge Naenae for whom Sajan Patel and Nick Tweed goaled.
The game between Harbour City and Karori was closely contested with Karori going ahead in the second minute before going down 3-2. Young Ariel Kelman scored early for Karori but former Southern NHL player Maddi McLean once and Capital striker Charlotte Eastman twice gave Harbour a handy lead. Karori’s Chloe Nicholson closed the gap in the fourth quarter but it was Harbour who took the points.
Victoria showed glimpses of last season’s good form in beating a new-look Kapiti side 3-0. A goal to Laura Jurgeleit in the first half, together with second half additions by Tori Blair and Isobel Becconsall-Ryan saw off a dogged Kapiti, which has lost half-a-dozen of last year’s team.
In contrast Hutt United had no trouble running out 8-0 winners over Toa in the early game. Suse Byrne, Ali Trail and Kirsty Cole from a penalty stroke had the new club up by three in the first quarter, with Byrne and Minna Reid adding before halftime. Toa showed more fight in the second half but Hutt captain Ani Roberts netted twice in the fourth quarter, the second from a penalty stroke to wrap up her side’s bonus point victory.
Thanks to Todd Foster for the P1 Reports