The Central Falcons have left it late to secure the four points against the Northern Tridents. The Falcons hit the front early before they would be pegged back by a determined Tridents team. With only minutes remaining in the match, Kaitlin Cotter would hold her nerve in the circle to put the ball in the goal and seal a 2-1 win for the Central Falcons.
In the first round of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League, the Northern Tridents and Central Falcons played out a 2-2 draw. The Falcons needed four points to put them in a strong position for making Sundays final. The Tridents would gain the early ascendency in as they went close to scoring on several occasions. Midway through the first quarter, the Tridents would earn themselves a penalty stroke when the penalty corner shot clipped a Falcons defender on the goal line. Fortunately for the Falcons, the stroke would go wide of the goal. As the quarter wore on the Falcons started to find their footing and would go close on a couple of occasions.
On the cusp of halftime, it was the Falcons who would get the first goal when they found Olivia Shannon open in the circle. Shannons shot would beat the outstretched Madeleine Williamson in goal as the Tridents were left to rue several missed opportunities from early in the first half.
The Northern Tridents would start the second half in the best possible fashion when a Stephanie Dickins drag-flick would lob up off the Falcons first runner. Stacey Michelsen would slap the deflection into the net to tie the match up at one goal apiece.
The end-to-end match continued in the fourth quarter as both sides had chances to break the deadlock. As the contest was heading towards a penalty shootout, the Central Falcons broke down the field a tremendous reverse stick pass found Kaitlin Cotter open high in the circle. She managed to get the goalkeeper off balance before putting in the winning goal and bringing the Falcons level with the Tridents on 10 points in the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League.
Central Falcons 2 (Olivia Shannon 30 min, Kaitlin Cotter 59 min)
Northern Tridents 1 (Stacey Michelsen 37 min)
The Hauraki Mavericks have pulled themselves into a three-way tie at the top of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League with a tight 1-0 win over the Southern Alpiners. The win sets up a mouthwatering match tomorrow against the Northern Tridents.
The Alpiners got better as the week went on in the first round-robin of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League. They came out firing against the highly fancied home side in their first match of the second-round robin. Despite some early pressure, the Alpiners were unable to construct any significant opportunities in the first quarter.
The Hauraki Mavericks would get the first corner of the match. The sweep went wide of the goal just past the outstretched diving Mavericks player who was looking for the deflection. The Alpiners earned two penalty corners midway through the second quarter. Like the Mavericks the Alpiners were unable to turn that into a goal.
The Mavericks came out of the halftime sheds with a renewed focus and were rewarded almost instantly when a well-timed quick free hit in the attacking circle was fed through to Liz Thompson who put a powerful shot into the back of the goal.
With time ticking down the Alpiners threw everything that they had at the Mavericks defence as they searched for their first win of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League. With eight minutes to go Alpiners coach Aaron Ford pulled their goalkeeper, the move put the Alpiners on the ascendency, and they were nearly rewarded almost instantly when they went close on several scoring chances. In the end, the Mavericks held their nerve to close out the contest 1-0.
Hauraki Mavericks 1 (Liz Thompson 31 min)
Southern Alpiners 0