Our Association boys and girls teams have each both booked themselves a slot in their respective semi-finals, while our Regional teams had a bit of a mixed bag yesterday.
The Association girls
continued on their winning way in their quarter-final yesterday against Wellington. In a real game of ‘finals’ hockey against a structured opposition who fought hard and defended well, the red and blacks had the perfect start when Aleisha Davis slotted a penalty corner in the 6th minute. A tenuous 1-0 lead at halftime produced some nerve-wracking moments but when Jordie Plunkett grabbed her 6th goal of the tournament halfway through the 3rd quarter there was a collective sigh of relief from the girls and management alike. A couple of sinbins in the final quarter made for some scrambled moments but the girls hung tough and kept a clean sheet. Through to the semi-finals with a hard-fought 2-0 win. A win today against Waikato at 3.30pm, who beat Wairarapa on shootout, will see the girls into the final for the 4th straight year.
A well-taken goal by George Pierce late in the first quarter gave the Association boys
the confidence they needed to then dominate their quarter-final match against Manwatu/Horowhenua yesterday afternoon. Josef Tejbal then grabbed his third PC goal of the tournament in the 26th minute before Pierce added to his tally, from a PC on the stroke of halftime. With a handy 3-0 lead going into the 2nd half the boys were never in danger of letting the win slip through their fingers and booked themselves a semi-final slot with a 3-0 win. They play Wellington, who beat Waikato on shootout in their quarter-final, this afternoon at 3.15pm for a spot in the final.
The Regional girls
went into their match against Capital as the clear favourites but came up against a team with nothing to lose and who were prepared to fight right to the very end. And it was the girls from Wellington who grabbed the advantage late in the 2nd quarter after a tight, scrappy start to the game. Ayla Goodwin-Lister pulled one back for the red and blacks straight after the break when she finished a good backline drive set-up by a long ball from the back, but Capital replied almost immediately with a field goal of their own. Another two minutes later saw the Canterbury girls down by two again, but Molly Mackay-Stewart slammed home a direct hit from a PC just before the end of the quarter to set up a cracker of a final quarter. Captain Emily Baker got the girls back on level pegging in the 46th minute but Capital’s Ruby Baker grabbed a hattrick to put them in-front yet again with 8mins left on the clock. The Canterbury girls refused to lie down though and a great pass from the left found Bella Ambrosius free in the circle and she slammed home a reverse to tie the game up and force a shoot-out. Unfortunately for the red and blacks nerves got the better of them and Capital grabbed the extra point. Canterbury now have a must-win game against Central at 3pm today to ensure a spot in the final.
The Regional boys
continued their unbeaten run with a convincing 4-1 win against Central yesterday. The boys had a perfect start to the game with two goals in the back of the Central net within the first 4 minutes, Lucca Burley grabbing his 7th goal of the tournament from the field in the 2nd minute, and Joe Morrison following up a minute later from a PC variation. The score remained unchanged at the halftime break, but the boys continued their dominance in the second half, Harrison Darling adding to the score with a field goal late in the 3rd quarter to see the boys go into the final quarter with a very comfortable 3-0 lead. Central grabbed a goal back in the 51st minute before Burley, the tournament’s top goal scorer, added his 8th with three minutes left on the clock, and sealed the 4-1 win. Despite sitting top of the table in Pool C the boys will still want to grab some points from their match against North Harbour this afternoon at 4pm to ensure themselves a spot in the final.