Draws are not common in premier hockey, but two of them in Saturday’s final second round games had significant impact for the play-offs.
Firstly Naenae’s 2-2 draw with Greenman Victoria meant they made it into the top four at Vic’s expense in their first year in Premier 1. Northern United ‘s win over Kapiti left only one spot up for grabs and Naenae went into their game a point ahead of Victoria. Vic had won the previous clash 2-1 and energetic striker Rio Tuson put them a goal up in just the fifth minute. Tom Pavitt levelled for Naenae from a penalty corner five minutes later and it was all-square at half-time with neither side gaining an ascendency. Ten minutes into the third quarter Naenae’s Hiren Mani scored an important goal, meaning Vic had to score twice to qualify fourth. Matt Wilson did grab one for the students but they were unable to snatch the winner in a scoreless fourth quarter.
The other draw took place at Clareville where the heavyweight encounter between Hutt Unitedand Farriers Dalefield ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Penalty corner specialist Ollie Logan put United ahead midway through the first quarter, while the returning Daniel van Woerkom equalised for the locals early in the second. This meant Hutt United finished two points ahead of the Wairarapa-based side who miss out on a home game and will travel to the NHS for Saturday’s return fixture starting at 2:30pm.
Northern United avenged their earlier loss to Team Medical Kapiti with a 3-2 victory at Paraparaumu, and finished the second round in third place. They needed a win to be sure of making the top four and started purposefully with Capital under-21 striker Jack Boon scoring after just four minutes. Northern’s Mike Houlahan converted a penalty stroke four minutes later, which stirred Kapiti into life and Reece Gilden’s opening goal in the shadow of half-time was reward for their effort. The third quarter produced no goals and Northern went further ahead when captain Ethan Kerruish scored early in the fourth. Kapiti’s Dan Boderick closed the gap at a penalty corner with six minutes left to play, but Northern’s defence remained staunch and they greeted the final hooter with delight.
Northern United 3 (Jack Boon, Mike Houlahan, Ethan Kerruish) Team Medical Kapiti 2 (Reece Gilden, Dan Boderick) HT 2-1
Naenae 2 (Tom Pavitt, Hiren Mani) Green Man Victoria 2 (Rio Tuson, Matt Wilson) HT 1-1
Hutt United 1 (Ollie Logan) Farriers Dalefield 1 (Daniel van Woerkom) HT 1-1
Final points: Hutt United 40, Farriers Dalefield 38, Northern United 23, Naenae 22, Green Man Victoria 21, Sporting Edge Harbour City 20, Team Medical Kapiti 14
Hutt United trailed Farriers Dalefield on the points table all season but showed they remain a serious title threat with a 2-1 win at Clareville. The home side took time to settle after having played Harbour City in a catch-up game on Friday night and the visitors shot to a 2-0 lead after four minutes with field goals to Teresa Warner and Ani Roberts. Morgan Percy replied from a penalty corner ten minutes later and from then on there was little between the teams. The result left Dalefield a single point ahead, meaning next week’s game between the two top women’s teams will be played at Clareville, hitting off at 2:45pm.
At Paraparaumu Karori ran out 3-2 winners over Team Medical Kapiti although the game was close throughout. Wellington under-18 captain Chloe Nicholson put Karori ahead after just five minutes to give Karori the advantage until Capital under-18 striker Ashleigh Hill brought Kapiti level in the second quarter. Jessie Manning and Izzy Shelswell gave Karori a two-goal buffer in the third quarter, then Emma Brokenshire’s field goal in the final stanza meant the final score was the same as it had been when the teams first met back in May.
Hutt United 2 (Teresa Warner, Ani Roberts) Farriers Dalefield 1 (Morgan Percy) HT 2-1
Karori 3 (Chloe Nicholson, Jessie Manning, Izzy Shelswell) Team Medical Kapiti 2 (Ashleigh Hill, Emma Brokenshire) HT 1-1
Played on Friday: Farriers Dalefield 3 (Abby Crawley, Michael O'Connor, Jaylin Dawson) Sporting Edge Harbour City 2 (Molly McGrail, Victoria O’Keefe)
On Monday Toa defaulted to Karori
Final points Farriers Dalefield 40, Hutt United 39, Sporting Edge Harbour City 36, Green Man Victoria 25, Karori 22, Toa 13, Team Medical Kapiti 9
Thanks to Todd Foster for this report