Defending champions Auckland men’s and women’s sides were in ominous form in today’s opening round of the Ford National Hockey League (NHL).
The defending women’s champions Auckland showed why they are again favourites to take the K Cup women’s trophy as they demolished Northland 7-1 in Whangarei. Leading 4-0 at the break, Auckland continued their domination in the second spell with former Black Stick and captain Jan Rowsell controlling the midfield.
The Auckland men, joint champions with Central last year, went three better than their female counterparts as they thrashed Northland 10-0 in their defence of the Challenge Shield. Up just 2-0 at halftime, the Aucklanders put their foot down in the second spell with Tom Wickham, Dwayne Rowsell and Alex Shaw playing strongly.
Midlands men looked like the other form team of the league as they claimed a comprehensive 3-1 win over a young North Harbour side in Hamilton. Kookaburra Tim Deavin made a quick turnaround after his bronze medal effort at the Olympics to lead the midfield for Midlands.
The women’s feature match of the day was also in Hamilton. Midlands and North Harbour were all square at 1-1 at fulltime with the match going to a penalty shootout. The shootout was even at 4-4 before North Harbour’s Carli Michelsen was pushed wide with her effort and Shiloh Gloyn knocked in the winner for the home side.
In Wellington, the home side Capital held out a fast-finishing Central team to take a 3-2 win. Capital took a 3-0 lead in the second spell, but late goals to player coach Caryn Paewai and Michaela Curtis gave Central a chance of drawing the match. Capital managed to hold on for the win as they defended a penalty corner right on full time.
And in the final women’s game, Canterbury had a comfortable 4-1 victory over Southern in Timaru with Olivia Merry knocking in a hat trick.
In other men’s games, Capital won 4-2 at home against joint defending champions Central in a fast, open game. The goal of the match came late in the second half when Todd Gould buried the ball into the net after a lovely pass from Jake Smith.
Canterbury also started the NHL with a 3-1 win over neighbours Southern in Timaru with Trent Summers knocking in two goals.
Ford NHL action continues tomorrow with round two matches at North Harbour, Auckland, Levin and Dunedin.
The league finishes with rounds three to seven, semifinals and finals at Auckland’s Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium from 25 August to 2 September. Both finals are on Sunday 2 September.
Women: Canterbury 4 (Olivia Merry 3, Sophie Devine 1) Southern 1 (Sofie McLeod) HT: 1-0 Canterbury.
Capital 3 (Tara Hall 2, Morgan Terry) Central 2 (Caryn Paewai, Michaela Curtis) HT: 2-0 Capital.
Auckland 7 (Nicole Youman 2, Anna Wetherall 2, Honor Carter, Kate Saunders, Kushla Glauser) Northland 1(Tarannah Vette) HT: 4-0
Midlands 1 (Stacey MacDonald) North Harbour 1 (Rhiannon Dennison) HT: 1-1. 5-4 Midlands after a penalty shoot-out.
Men: Canterbury 3 (Trent Summers 2, Isaac Staples) Southern 1 (Jason Dungey) HT: 2-0
Capital 4 (Jacob Smith, Matt L’Huillier, Jared Jones, Todd Gould) Central 2 (Nick Wilson, Fergus Watts) HT: 1-1
Auckland 10 (Ben Radovonich 3, Sam Miskimmin 3, Dwayne Rowsell 2, Veeran Morar, Joe Crooks) Northland 0 HT: 2-0
Midlands 3 (Cam Hayde, Lincoln Churchill, Ricky Clark) North Harbour 1 (David Kosoof) HT: 2-1
Hockey New Zealand Press Release