The Northern Tridents have extended their lead at the top of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League with a commanding 4-1 win over the Southern Alpiners. The match was closer than the score reflected as for the first half the game was hanging in the balance.
The Northern Tridents entered their match against the Southern Alpiners full of confidence following wins against the Hauraki Mavericks and Central Falcons. The match opened with end to end hockey as both teams would go close on several occasions. In the end it was the Alpiners who would strike first through Olivia Merry with a deft touch off a crash ball into the circle that made its way past goalkeeper Brooke Roberts.
The Tridents found themselves trailing entering the second quarter for the first time in the Premier Hockey League. They rebounded outstandingly when a crash ball of their own from Steph Dickins which hit the post, Kate Ivory grabbed the rebound and smashed it between goalkeeper Kirsty Nations legs. Only moments before the halftime break the Northern Tridents would hit the lead when the ball rebounded off the Alpiners goalkeeper, and a heads up play by Tridents striker Kirsten Pearce would see her touch the ball over the goalline.
They were buoyed by taking the lead just before the halftime break, the Tridents further cemented their hold on the match early in the second half when a tremendous bouncing ball into the circle found Kirsten Pearce. She would then chip the ball over the goalkeeper’s shoulder for her second goal of the match.
The Southern Alpiners entered the final quarter in desperate need of goals. Unfortunately for the Alpiners, they suffered a further setback midway through the fourth quarter when Rose Tynan jumped on a turnover deep in the Alpiners half and her reverse stick shot deflected into the goal past the Alpiners goalkeeper. The Tridents looked to be in a commanding position in the match as they aimed to close out their weekend and finish on 10 points for the competition.
Southern Alpiners 1 (Olivia Merry 15 min)
Northern Tridents 4 (Kate Ivory 17 min, Kirsten Pearce 30, 36 min, Rose Tynan 55 min)
The Central Falcons have gone down in a penalty shootout for the second time in two days following a tight tussle between the Mavericks and Falcons as they battled to secure second place on the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League table. In the end, it was the Mavericks who would hold their nerve to secure the penalty shootout 3-2.
The Mavericks entered their match against the Falcons with confidence after coming from behind in their previous game against the Southern Alpiners. The match started as an arm wrestle with both teams stifling any opportunities that presented.
As the battle wore on the Central Falcons strike line started to put some significant pressure on the Mavericks defence. Unfortunately, they were able to construct any meaningful play that would get them on the scoreboard early on.
The Hauraki Mavericks managed to break the contest open early in the second half when the Falcons failed to clear the penalty corner shot and Alia Jaques managed to pop the ball into the goal.
The tactical battle between the two sides resumed post the opening goal as both teams defences continued to play a pivotal role at shutting down the attacking threats being posed at them.
The Central Falcons set up a grandstand finish when Megan Hull swept a beautiful pass into the circle that Hope Ralph jumped in front of the Mavericks defence and deflected high into the net.
The Mavericks entered the shootout confident knowing that Grace O’Hanlon was between the posts for them. After going through the best of three shootout tied at two goals apiece, it was Liz Thompson who would convert her second shootout to seal the win 3-2.
Hauraki Mavericks 1 (Alia Jaques 34 min)
Central Falcons 1 (Hope Ralph 56 min)
*Mavericks won shootout 3-2