Defending champions Massey, won their semifinal, 3-1 over Tech College Old Boys and High School Hockey Club came from behind to beat a gallant College side, 4-2.
In the playoffs at the twin turfs on Saturday, the first semifinal is summed up by the cliche: a game of two halves.
College came out firing against HSHC and owned the first half, stretching the HSHC defence at will.
College dominated with their short passing game, putting HSHC on the back foot for the whole half to deservedly be up two goals by the break, through talisman Warren Phillips and Matt Gifkins.
Ben Molloy carried his National Hockey League form into the match, inspiring College with speed and skills.
College had a few chances after the interval, but HSHC's keeper kept them out.
Momentum swung to HSHC as they stepped up, started working off the ball carrier and challenging College, denying them space.
HSHC clawed back a goal off a long pass that found a lone forward up around College's circle and Troy Davey scored.
Todd McHardy made it two off a breakaway counter attack.
HSHC quickly had another chance, but College survived thanks to the shot deflecting off the paintwork.
College came back and traded chances, but from a missed pass, HSHC countered, ending up with three players on College's two defenders, which saw John Annear on hand to tap it in for the lead.
HSHC fed off College gifts of possession that saw McHardy slink and drive into the College circle and slip the ball under the sliding keeper to put the result beyond doubt and extend HSHC's season another week.
Three goals in the opening five minutes set the stage for an exciting entertaining semifinal between full-strength Massey and Tech College Old Boys sides.
Massey opened the scoring through Gabe Rawcliffe and minutes later, Aaron Edmunds doubled the score.
Tech finally got the ball and came back straight away, scoring after a melee in front of Massey's goal.
Then the rain came and both teams struggled in the wet, trading chances with the score locked 2-1 for most of the remaining time.
In the second spell, under difficult conditions, Tech and Massey came close especially Massey's shot saved off the woodwork.
Rawcliffe led Massey from the front supported by defenders, Marcus Emery, and Edmunds.
Both teams hunted endlessly for the next goal that would either draw the scores level or decide the outcome.
The latter happened with Massey getting the third goal, 10 minutes before fulltime.
In the women's semifinals, College maintained their form with a 4-0 win over HSHC Evergreens.
College were quickly in their stride with three goals in the back of Evergreens' net before the rain poured down on the quarter hour.
The game changed as both teams struggled initially with the change of weather.
While Evergreens competed on occasion, College were always in control, with Amy Johnson providing the inspiration with her tackling and work rate on attack and in defence.
College kept the ball speed up in the difficult conditions with the Evergreens keeper, Sue Hildred, defiant in keeping the score to only one goal in the second spell.
College will play the winner of the other semifinal between Massey and Collegians which is scheduled for tomorrow night.
- © Fairfax NZ News