Miller hat-trick a handy tonic

ANDIE DILLON
Last updated 10:16 30/07/2012

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Competition leaders Phoenix started the final round of the Southland men's division one club competition with an impressive 7-3 win over Central on Friday night.

After an evenly matched opening for 15 minutes, it was a long pass from Phoenix midfielder Chris Young to the top of the circle which resulted in the first goal of the match. Dylan Paterson trapped the ball and found Jimmy Miller, who swept it in from the left post.

A lift in communication helped Central respond two minutes later through a reverse shot from Ben Platfoot.

During another period of back and forth play, striker Jake Henderson scored for Phoenix and Nick Cantwell scored from a Central penalty corner.

Phoenix then tried something different on a penalty corner and were successful with a zig-zag movement finished by Dylan Paterson, leaving them up 3-2 at the break.

In the second half, Central striker Richard Perica found himself in a one-on-one, dodged the goalkeeper to the right and slotted the ball in to level the score. A missed opportunity in front of an open goal a few minutes later was Central's last real chance on attack before Phoenix gained control for the remaining 20 minutes.

Strikers Miller and Paterson and midfielder Lee Erskine scored again for Phoenix to extend their lead to 6-3 before Miller secured his hat-trick to complete the scoring.

Phoenix's eighth win from 10 matches saw them raise their goal tally to 48.

Collegiate emerged with a 4-3 win over the Eastern United men in Gore on Friday night.

Eastern scored twice in the first 15 minutes, but Collegiate responded with two of their own before halftime. The second half could have gone either way but it was Collegiate who finished well to pocket the points.

Phoenix is currently top the table on 17 points, followed by Collegiate 14, Eastern United seven and Central two.

Mataura won the division one women's competition top-of-the-table clash against Speight's Ale House Southern 4-1 in Gore on Saturday.

Southern managed to hold the favourites to 1-1 at halftime, but Mataura proved too good after that when playing some of their best hockey of the season.

Riversdale secured a 1-0 win over SIT Collegiate in Invercargill.

Despite dominating possession, Riversdale found goals hard to come by and it was 0-0 at halftime.

After another 30 minutes of scoreless battle, Riversdale defender Judy White settled the issue when she stepped up and provided the game winner from a penalty corner.

AT A GLANCE
Phoenix beat Central 7-3, Collegiate beat Eastern United 4-3, Mataura beat Speight's Ale House Southern 4-1, Riversdale beat SIT Collegiate 1-0

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- The Southland Times

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