Rep hockey players get more action with new Conference Cup

The Conference Cup rep hockey competition starts this weekend.
Andy Jackson

The Conference Cup rep hockey competition starts this weekend.

The Central Hockey League has been replaced by a new Conference Cup tournament for the Capital, Central and Midlands hockey associations.

The CHL used to be for the Central provinces - Rangitikei, Horowhenua, Wanganui, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay - to play off to decide a champion.

The new Conference Cup is for the three major associations Capital, Central and Midlands and aims to give aspiring rep players more games leading up to the National Hockey League.

There are seven men's teams. Three from Central: Mid Central (Manawatu), Mid Central West (Taranaki, Wanganui and Horowhenua) and Mid Central East (Hawke's Bay); two Wellington clubs Hutt and Dalefield; and two from Midlands: Midlands East and Midlands West.

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There are three women's teams: Central West, which also includes Rangitikei and Manawatu, and Central East, and Midlands.

The two Wellington women's clubs, Eastern Hutt and Dalefield pulled out.

The new competition is a round-robin which will run from May 21 to July 23.

Matches will be played across the lower North Island, from Carterton to Napier, Rotorua, Taupo, Palmerston North, Levin, Wanganui and Stratford. 

One-off games will be played on Sundays, with a mini tournament at Park Island in Napier on Queen's Birthday weekend.

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The Mid Central men's team has a bye this weekend, but will be playing in Palmerston North on Friday, June 2.

The Central East men's team has a strong look to it with Joe Hanks, Central Mavericks NHL co-captain and Dylan Thomas, who was co-captain of the Central under-21 team who finished second at the national tournament last week.

The Central West women's team is strong with Black Sticks Georgia Barnett, Michaela Curtis and Pippa Norman in the team.

There are matches on Sunday at the twin turfs in Palmerston North and at Wanganui Collegiate School.

In Palmerston North, the Central East men will play Hutt from Wellington and the Central East women will play the Central West women, both at 12pm.

The Central West men will play Wellington's Dalefield, a club from Wairarapa, at Wanganui Collegiate School.

 - Stuff

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