Hearts lose concentration, game
An unexpected mid-half break for a rescue helicopter could have been the downfall of Northern Hearts in its 3-2 South Canterbury men's hockey loss to Wakanui Black, in Ashburton, on Saturday.
Hearts were up 2-0 inside 10 minutes before the unscheduled stoppage in play as the helicopter landed right beside the turf and the break seemed to swing the momentum in the favour of the defending champions.
By halftime they were back level and when Toby Thomas' outstretched stick deflected the ball high into the net, the comeback was complete.
Wakanui Black player/coach Mark Bennett said his team was "all over the place" in the first 10 minutes".
"Perhaps that break was what we needed because it gave us the chance to refocus and have a pretty honest discussion about where we were going wrong.
"I thought we dominated things much more in the second half, and while we only scored once, I thought we really controlled things nicely."
Hearts player Tim Greenall said everything came together perfectly in the first 10 minutes.
"It felt like everything we had been working on at training was paying off.
"After that break, they came back at us and while we probably had three or four good opportunities in the second half, poor skills like trapping and stick control let us down."
Greenall said Simon Cooper was influential at the back while Shannon Hardacre worked hard up-front.
In the only other men's match, Cambridge came from two goals down to beat Tainui 4-3.
Cambridge manager Bruce Rayner said the team started slowly and were lucky to escape with a win.
Tainui sorely missed its captain Shaun Cunningham.
Wakanui Blue's match with Timaru Boys' High School (TBHS) has been deferred to July 23 due to TBHS representative commitments
In senior women's action, St Andrews prevailed in the top-of-the-table clash against Hampstead 2-1, while fifth-placed Hampstead/Collegians earned a deserved 2-0 win over a lack-lustre Geraldine.
The third-placed team hardly fired a shot in the first 30 minutes as the Ashburton schoolgirls were camped on attack.
Brittney Hindson's scrambled goal after eight minutes was the only scoring action until the second half when the visitors doubled their advantage through a Jaimee Smith penalty corner.
Craighead's game with Timaru Girls' High School has been deferred to July 24.
- The Timaru Herald