The South Canterbury Collier Trophy under-13 girls hockey team earned a 3-2 win against Taranaki in the first round of cross-over games for places 9 to 16 against Taranaki in Auckland on Thursday.
The early advantage went to Taranaki and they put South Canterbury under pressure.
Timely tackles from defenders Bridget Gudsell and Abby Lennon helped to soak up the pressure. South Canterbury gradually began to lift their intensity.
They mounted a number of attacks into the Taranaki circle but with no reward.
After eight minutes, Rebecca Adolph picked up a pass, dribbled around four players and sent a powerful shot through the keeper's pads and into the goal to open the scoring.
Taranaki were quick to reply with speedy forwards pouncing on a mis-trap to level the scores.
The rest of the half was an arm-wrestle with both teams closing down opposition attacks.
Molly Richardson-MaCaw ran strongly at the front and chased down many well weighted passes. The half ended 1-1.
In the second half the game continued to see-saw and Taranaki took advantage of an overlap to take the lead early.
Isabel Whitticase was ever-present in the defensive circle and picked up many loose balls as South Canterbury came back strongly. They put on the pressure on the and won a penalty corner. A well-worked corner resulted in Anna Hayward scoring to make it 2-2.
South Canterbury continued to build pressure on the Taranaki team and, as in past games, their fitness began to show through.
A through ball from Abby Lennon, which most people expected to go over the baseline, was run down by a flying Jenna Rae McIntyre who dragged the ball back and had a shot.
The ball rebounded off the keeper and in the resulting melee the ball deflected off a foot into the goal for South Canterbury to take a 3-2 lead.
South Canterbury continued to attack and hold the ball for the last four minutes to secure a well deserved 3-2 win.
The South Canterbury under-13 boys Hatch Cup hockey team will play off for fifth and sixth after a dramatic penalty stroke win over Horowhenua, in Christchurch, yesterday. The match was locked at 2-2 at the end of normal time, with each team converting three out of five penalty strokes. South Canterbury were down 2-1 with five minutes to play and coach Charlotte McCullough chose to take off her goalie in favour of another attacker which paid dividends when an equaliser was found. Brad Cvitanich and Jack Hayman got the goals for the green and blacks. South Canterbury will face Waikato today.
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