Midlands women gutted to miss finals honours
Midlands coach Hymie Gill acknowledged his side had been "hit for six" when losing their National Hockey League final on Saturday.
Auckland added one more goal for good measure, with their 7-0 thumping meaning the Bayleys Midlands women's side will have to wait at least another season to grab their first NHL title.
Midlands eventually finished fourth, losing the third-place playoff in Auckland yesterday to North Harbour 3-2, while Canterbury took the crown with a 3-1 victory over Auckland.
Gill had felt his side were well-primed to make the final after a team meeting on Friday night.
"I thought we'd do all right. But the quick goal knocked us, even though we kept it to 2-0 by halftime.
"Then they had a spell in the second half when they scored five times in 10 to 15 minutes and I looked at my watch with 15 to go and thought ‘this could be a cricket score'," Gill said.
Two early goals conceded to North Harbour yesterday didn't help the side's confidence and though they fought hard to get back in the game, it wasn't enough to put them among the medals.
"It was ultimately a disappointing campaign to finish fourth," Gill said.
"We'll have a review to analyse what was missing, but I know out fitness wasn't as good as it should have been. We've consistently been in the top four for some time now but need to find that winning formula."
Black Stick Samantha Charlton was the standout throughout the tournament for Midlands, and Gill predicted a bright future for the young midfielder.
Fellow internationals Cat Finlayson and Clarissa Eshuis also showed their class, while youngsters Kim Tanner and Kayla Wilson and veterans Kate Mahon, Shannon Cochrane and Kim Gill were reliable performers.
The Midlands men's side finished in sixth spot. They hammered Northland 9-2 on Saturday, with Black Sticks defender Andy Hayward scoring four penalty corner goals, but went down 2-1 to Central yesterday in the playoff for fifth. firstname.lastname@example.org
- © Fairfax NZ News
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