St Andrews make finals
Defending champions St Andrews progressed straight through to the South Canterbury women's hockey final with a determined 1-0 win over Hampstead, in Timaru, on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, the Saints applied the pressure early in the second half with four unanswered penalty corners.
The last one yielded a penalty stroke which Juli Galotto converted.
St Andrews' defence was also impressive, with a high work-rate.
Yvonne Lee was consistent while Anneleis Cloake tracked back several times in defence to make some crucial tackles.
The result means Hampstead will play Geraldine for a spot in the final this weekend after Geraldine beat Craighead on sudden-death strokes.
In the battle of fifth versus sixth, Timaru Girls' High School beat Hampstead/Collegians for the second week in a row, thanks to a 2-0 victory.
The final round of the men's regular season concluded with Cambridge downing Wakanui Blue 4-1, Northern Hearts and Tainui drawing 2-2 in Oamaru and Wakanui Black defeating an under-strength Timaru Boys' High School 4-1.
Northern Hearts player Matt Cooper said they were pleased to be a visiting team going home with points from a trip to Oamaru.
He said Tim Greenall played well at inner, and it was good preparation for the semifinals.
"We've been here a lot over the past five years so hopefully that will count for something."
Cambridge were down 1-0 against Wakanui Blue at halftime, but four goals from Jared Parmenter soon fixed that.
Cambridge captain Hamish Brown said his team only let Wakanui Blue into the attacking circle twice.
He said despite their lack of finals experience, he was confident that with South Canterbury representative players in the team, his men would stand up and be counted in the playoffs.
Wakanui Black player and coach Mark Bennett said his team played some attractive hockey in defeating TBHS.
"We managed to slow the game up to our kind of pace and that helped our accuracy."
League leaders Wakanui Black will play Tainui in the first semifinal while Northern Hearts and Cambridge will reignite their rivalry in the other playoff match this weekend.
The Timaru Herald