Underdogs Harewood face HSOB-Burnside
Harewood women's coach Aaron Ford believes going into Saturday's Canterbury Hockey club final as "massive underdogs" is a big advantage for his side.
Harewood beat Carlton Redcliffs 4-0 at the weekend, earning the right to take on a HSOB-Burnside team that has been unbeatable for three seasons. HSOB-Burnside won all 15 of their round-robin games this season then smashed Hornby 7-0 in Saturday's semifinal.
While the defending champions were hot favourites for the final, Ford backed his side to cause a boil over.
"We're definitely confident that we can give them a run for their money," he said.
In their three previous meetings, Harewood have lost 5-1, 1-0 and 3-1.
However, Ford said his side had learnt plenty from those losses.
When asked how Harewood would cope with HSOB-Burnside's main goal-scoring threat, Sian Fremaux, who scored another hat-trick on Saturday, Ford was bullish.
"We've got some good defensive players who will hopefully take care of her," he said.
"If we don't win the individual battles, then we can't expect to win the final.
"And we've got players they need to worry about, too. Olivia Merry, for example, is as much of a threat as Sian." Harewood's quick start in their 4-0 win over Carlton-Redcliffs - they scored all four goals in the first half - was the perfect blueprint for how to play in the final, Ford said. The final of the men's competition will be fought out between Selwyn and Harewood.
Selwyn beat Carlton Redcliffs 3-1 while University gave Harewood a scare, leading 1-0 at the break. However, Harewood finished far better to win 3-1.
Avon finished fifth in both competitions after their women's side drew 1-1 with Selwyn while the men's side beat HSOB-Burnside 7-2 in their fifth-sixth playoff game.
Women: HSOB-Burnside 7 (Sian Fremaux 3, Katie Austin, Hazel Lund, Rachel McCann, Hannah Hill) Hornby Tigers 0; Harewood 4 (Tenille Burnside 2, Jordy Grant, Olivia Merry) Carlton-Redcliffs 0; Avon 1 (Kiriana Brown) Selwyn 1 (Sophie Devine). Men: Harewood 3 (Ryan Cocking, James Kearney, Matt Ling) University 1 (Trent Summers); Selwyn 3 (Ben Rutherford 2, Cam Moore) Carlton-Redcliffs 1 (Mark Coleman); Avon 7 (Rob Buhler 2, Isaac Staples 3, Levi Barrow 2) HSOB-Burnside 2 (Tom Gilby Todd, Isaac Gray).
- © Fairfax NZ News
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