The Central Falcons have secured their spot in Sunday’s final of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League with a convincing 3-1 victory over the Northern Tridents in Hamilton this evening.
Despite being boosted by the return of the Vantage Black Sticks pair of goalkeeper Richard Joyce (from playing in Belgium) and defender Cory Bennett (from injury), the Tridents couldn’t improve on the previous result between the two teams.
The Falcons immediately showed why they are unbeaten in the inaugural league, opening the scoring in the 11th minute with Jacob Smith deflecting a Sam Hiha ball high into the net. The Falcons had seven shots on the goal in the quarter but weren’t able to add to their total.
The Tridents were back in the match early in the second spell when Kieran O’Connor found the ball at his feet on the penalty spot and fired it into the top of the goal.
The Falcons delivered an almost instant response with the league’s top goalscorer Nick Wilson latching on to a Stephen Jenness pass to give the Falcons a 2-1 break at half-time.
Near the end of the third spell, Smith collected his second goal of the match when the ball wasn’t cleared after a first shot from Jenness.
A dis-allowed Jenness goal for the Falcons was the only goal-scoring action of the fourth quarter to leave the Falcons with the 3-1 victory.
Central Falcons 3 Jacob Smith 11, 41 min, Nick Wilson 23 min
Northern Tridents 1 Kieran O’Connor 21 min
The Southern Alpiners have moved into second place on the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League ladder with an impressive 3-1 win over the Hauraki Mavericks in Hamilton tonight.
The Alpiners, needing to win to keep their finals hopes alive, secured the victory with a late Sam Lane goal to be level on six points with the Mavericks.
The South Island side opened the scoring with an easy Dominic Newman goal in the fifth minute after a Lane penalty corner strike.
Just before the quarter break the Hauraki Mavericks, who were missing two of the Panchia brothers for tonight’s match, drew level with a brilliant drag flick from skipper Nic Woods.
The 1-1 stalemate continued until the half-time break despite a much-improved second spell from the home team.
Early in the second half, Hugo Inglis was given too much space in the circle putting the Alpiners into the lead with a strong reverse shot.
Vantage Black Sticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward kept the Mavericks in the match for most of the second half before Lane nailed the 3-1 win with a clever touch above the keeper’s reach.
Southern Alpiners 3 (Dominic Newman 5 min Hugo Inglis 35 min Sam Lane 55 min)
Hauraki Mavericks 1 (Nic Woods 14 min)