• Patrick McBride

West Coast Hockey results, Week 2, 23-27 June

Close results in Men’s hockey.

The Men’s grade of this week’s West Coast hockey competition comprised two epic battles on Saturday afternoon. Hokitika was again short of players and so borrowed some from their Karoro opponents, which made for a very even contest. Hokitika started the scoring with a good combination up the field for Ryan O’Connor to complete. Liam Hopper added another in the first half and his penalty corner drag flick came into action later on. Braydon Wisdom earned a well deserved hattrick, with additional goals from George Rubbo and Reuben Campbell. The two teams went goal for goal throughout the 70 minutes, and ended all tied up at the final whistle with five gaols apiece.

Greymouth Men also took to the field with a player short in their game against Cobden, but they led the run of play early on. The blue and golds took the lead in the first half with a well placed penalty corner flick by Dave Pearson, and forwards Thomas Thwaites and Harry Shaw maintained pressure on the Cobden defence. Cobden’s Max Rubbo came back in the second half to draw level, and then captain Sean Brown sent the winning goal into the back of the net with just three minutes to go on the clock. Ryan Coll defended well for Cobden, while Gremouth’s Blake Hodgson made some crucial saves.

In the Women’s division, Greymouth swept to victory against Cobden. Amanda Curry led the scoring for Greymouth, with Ruby Thomas, Alyssa Blacktopp and Michayla Sweetman following through.

In the other Women’s match, Kowhai players Charlotte O'Connor and Alex McCann took advantage of the first quarter when Hokitika played without a goalie, leading an attacking charge and netted a goal each in quick succession. Newcomer Anna Matson had a good start to her hockey season and worked well with Ruby Manson and Barbara Cook to stop Hokitika’s attack. Leisa Williams, Jess McLeod and Emma Boddy settled Hokitika into a cohesive team once their goalie was on the turf and challenged the Kowhai team’s attack. Alex McCann, Alice Winter and Keeley Gorrie stood out as key to the Kowhai win with strong passing phases and exceptional tackling. O'Connor was awarded with her 2nd goal before halftime leaving Kowhai the task of defending their lead until the final whistle. Belinda Lunn was key for Hokitika keeping the score to 3-0.

In the Collegiate grade, the Barry family reaped the rewards for Greymouth Phoenix, with Franklin, Bessie and Honor each scoring two goals in their win over Hokitika. Player of the day Sophie Love led from the back for Hokitika with strong tackling and good communication, linking well with Grace Lockington and Leila Nolan. Greymouth did especially well with their penalty corners, leaping on loose ball in the circle and forcing it past the tight Hokitika defence.

The Greymouth Allstars came out strongly against Karoro in the other Collegiate game, with Sam Shaw leading scoreboard. Karoro goalkeeper Casey Ellery did well in goal, and Caitlin Boddy combined well with Vadim Pinkerton.

In the Primary grade, Karoro Sharks held on to an early lead over their Thunder clubmates. Lucy Boere and Kohen Thompson linked well up front. Keoni and Yasmin Haddock also produced good goals, while Noah Johnson and Lotte Marshall replied for the Thunder. In another game, Rylan Perrin-Smith-Kahl snatched a hattrick for Greymouth Aces, and Mikayla Shaw joined with Caspian Barry to add some more. Greymouth Vikings replied with a bag of goals by Jack Perrin-Smith-Kahl, but it was not enough to keep up after drawing the first half. Karoro and Hokitika had a very tight contest in the third match, with James Rhodes finding the back of the net three times for Karoro and Saxon Williams adding another. Daniel Blight and Cameron Johnston claimed a goal each for Hokitika and Abby Ritchie performed well in support.

In the Kiwisticks grade, Greymouth Blue narrowly defeated Greymouth Gold, with strikers Maddison Griggs and Zoe Davey battling hard for either team. Greymouth Gold reclaimed some pride with a deserved win over Karoro, with Madison Woolhouse slotting four good goals.

This week’s West Coast Hockey results were:

Premier Men: Karoro 5 Hokitika (defaulted) 5, Cobden 2 Greymouth 1

Premier Women: Greymouth 5 Cobden 0, Kowhai 3 Hokitika 0

Collegiate: Greymouth Phoenix 6 Hokitika 0, Greymouth Allstars 4 Karoro 0

Primary: Karoro Sharks 6 Karoro Thunder 3, Greymouth Aces 6 Greymouth Vikings 4, Karoro Krackers 4 Hokitika 2

Kiwi sticks: Greymouth Gold 5 Karoro 0, Greymouth Blue 3 Greymouth Gold 2