• Patrick McBride


There is no West Coast club hockey this week due to the school holidays, and only Men’s hockey will return the following week on 18 July. All other grades return in the first week of the third term.

Greymouth Women claim first round hockey shield

The Greymouth women’s hockey team completed a clean sweep over the first round when they beat Hokitika in a close match. Hokitika dominated for the first quarter but they were unable to convert their chances. Greymouth scored against the run of play and put Hokitika on the back foot. Some controlled passing in the second and third quarters saw Greymouth score another couple of goals by Amanda Curry and Michaela Sweetman to create a good buffer. Hokitika came out firing in the fourth quarter and scored two goals including a lovely solo run by Emma Boddy. Kate Mongridge worked hard and combined well with Boddy and Leisa Williams. Natalie Taft-Boddy distributed some sharp balls to Jess Thompson, while Tess Boddy was secure at the back and worked well with her sister Caitlin. Greymouth’s goalkeeper Kimberley Van Plateringen made numerous outstanding saves and kept Hokitika scoreless until the fourth quarter. Greymouth’s victory gave them the right to hold the West Coast Hockey First Round Shield for the third season in a row.

The Kowhai women’s team faced off with Cobden this week, and both teams had plenty of subs in the dugout. Cold conditions made for a tentative start to the game with a bit of to-and-fro going on before Kowhai started to dominate and Alex McCann threw the first goal past the keeper. Another quick goal came when newcomer Mackenzie Lightwood tipped the ball over the line from a direct hit into the circle, sparking more determined play from the green and gold team. The second half saw the injection of Cobden striker Tiffany Klopper who stimulated some good attacks back at Kowhai, but Ruby Manson, Alice Winter and Lana Gorrie kept Cobden at bay. Manson then scored a ripper goal from a penalty corner and this was followed by a further goal from Janny Verveer taking Kowhai to a four goal lead at the end of the game. Cobden defenders Amanda Hopkins and Tayla Gibson were key in keeping the score as low as it was.

In the Men’s grade, Cobden got their hands on the Ken Balchin Cup for the first round title when they easily beat an under-strength Hokitika team. Max Rubbo and Cody Fairhall led the scoring with pace added by Sean Brown and Sam Shepard. Harley Vui found space on the wing to score a couple of goals and is a good future prospect in his first season of hockey. Hokitika’s Mark Lockington was rewarded with a goal in his first Premier grade match when he snuck the ball in off the left post from a strong shot by midfielder Zak Neale. Goalkeeper Raymond Barltrop was under attack on many occasions but did well to come off his line to take the Cobden strikers head on.

Greymouth had a close encounter with Karoro on Saturday, taking an early lead in the first half with goals to Dave Pearson and Cameron Birchfield. Karoro came back after the break when Luke Sturkenboom found the back of the net, but Greymouth maintained their buffer when Antony Haslam added a third shot past Karoro keeper Brent Cook.

In the Collegiate grade, Greymouth Phoenix claimed the first round title when they prevailed in a close game against Karoro that could have gone either way. Matt Friend opened the scoring for Phoenix with a low shot and Callum Brown equalised before half time for Karoro. Both teams had chances to take the lead in the second half and with only five minutes to go, Friend added to his first half effort with a well placed shot to give Phoenix the win. Jess Stevenson was awarded player of the day for Phoenix with a great effort throughout the game.

Greymouth Allstars put in a clinical performance to claim a convincing win over the less experienced Hokitika team. Noah Goodwin-Lister put five strong sweep shots into the net and Harry Shaw did well in the penalty corner count. Hokitika player of the day Grace Lockington performed very well under pressure on defence and delivered the ball well to Ruby Harris and Charlotte O’Reilly.

In the Primary grade, Mikayla Shaw, Rylan Perrin-Smith-Kahl and Zoe Davey each scored a hattrick for the well organised Greymouth Aces. Their opponents Karoro Thunder battled valiantly but were unable to produce any results for their efforts. Shannon Black fended off many shots while Jemma Aston and Karni van Heerden stood out in defence. Jayden Richardson replied for the Thunder with an excellent solo effort. Shaw’s experience dominated the game for the Aces as she attacked strongly and distributed the ball well.

Karoro Krackers had a much closer game against the Greymouth Vikings with only one goal between the two teams at the final whistle. Kade Howe led the scoring for the Krackers and James Rhodes followed through with a couple more. The Vikings trailed by two goals at the break, but came back fighting to narrow the margin. Jack Perrin-Smith scored three goals and Tara Morgan joined Bessie Barry to score one each.

Hokitika and Karoro Sharks also had a tightly contested match. Hokitika produced their best game so far, with Stevie Nixon putting in an outstanding effort in both defence and attack. Daniel Blight connected nicely with Thomas Bisdee to drive the ball up the field creating multiple opportunities for the Hokitika strikers to pepper the opposition goalie. Three goals by Hokitika won them the game and also demonstrated a massive improvement making them strong contenders for the title this year. Kohen Thompson was the Sharks’ attacking weapon and replied with two good goals, while Yasmin Haddock shone on defence. Youngsters Toby Newcombe and Keonie Haddock also had very strong games.

In the Kiwisticks grade, Madison Woolhouse was the standout player for Greymouth Gold, and Greymouth Blue was helped along by powerful shots from Amaya Salazar and Zoe Davey. Greymouth Blue came away from this week’s effort with the first round trophy title in their division.

Results from this week’s West Coast Hockey were:

Premier Women: Kowhai 4 Cobden 0, Greymouth 4 Hokitika 2.

Collegiate: Greymouth Allstars 13 Hokitika 0, Greymouth Phoenix 2 Karoro 1.

Primary: Karoro Krackers 6 Greymouth Vikings 5, Hokitika 3 Karoro Sharks 2, Greymouth Aces 11 Karoro Thunder 1.

Kiwi sticks: Greymouth Blue 7 Karoro 0, Greymouth Gold 6 Karoro 0.

Premier Men: Greymouth 3 Karoro 1, Cobden 15 Hokitika 1.

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