Hockey semifinal matchups to provide plenty of exciting clashes

Northern Hearts goalkeeper Hamish Moss in action last season. He will be a key player against Tainui.
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ

Northern Hearts goalkeeper Hamish Moss in action last season. He will be a key player against Tainui.

There's plenty riding on the Hockey South Canterbury men's and women's division one semifinals this weekend.

In the men's matches, Cambridge and Temuka battle for a direct route to the final and the Hardacre Trophy, while the loser will face the winner of the elimination semifinal between Northern Hearts and Tainui.

Meanwhile in the women's competition, Timaru Girls' will be hoping to knock off Hampstead and go directly through to the final, while Cambridge and Geraldine clash in the elimination semifinal, with both teams out to extend their competition for another week.

Jacob Parker of Cambridge chasing the ball against Hayden Shaw of Temuka, in a clash earlier this season.
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Jacob Parker of Cambridge chasing the ball against Hayden Shaw of Temuka, in a clash earlier this season.

Cambridge have the wood over Temuka in their three matches to date, winning all three clashes this season.

Matt McAtamney and BJ Mason shape as key players up front, with the pair scoring 26 goals between them this season.

Temuka will need the likes of Hayden Shaw and Bruce Mattingly to shut these two down and force some of Cambridge's other players to make more shots.

Nick Dalziel playing for North Otago earlier this season. He will be a key figure in Tainui's plans against Northern Hearts.
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Nick Dalziel playing for North Otago earlier this season. He will be a key figure in Tainui's plans against Northern Hearts.

Shaw's drag flick is a big weapon and he will be hoping to unleash it, while David Robertson and Warren Morgan will be hoping to cause plenty of problems for the Cambridge defence.

Tainui will go into their clash with confidence having beaten Northern Hearts twice this season.

Their victories came in Oamaru, while Hearts recorded a 5-3 win in the Timaru fixture.

Geraldine's Colleen Suddaby has been one of the best players in the women's competition this year and expect her to be ...
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Geraldine's Colleen Suddaby has been one of the best players in the women's competition this year and expect her to be prominent in Saturday's semifinal.

Andrew Ross, Simon Cooper and Tim Greenall shape as three key players for Hearts, while Tainui will be looking to Nick Dalziel, Josh Dalziel and Tom Wouters to spark things on attack.

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They come into the clash on the back of a complete performance against Wakanui, where they earned their semifinal spot with a 4-1 win.

Timaru Girls' will want a good team effort but expect Jenna-Rae McIntyre and Emily Bell to feature prominently, while Hampstead have a number of quality players in Georgia Clarke, Shannon Thompson-Lang and Jenna Turnbull.

It will be an interesting match but Timaru Girls' hold the upper hand having won two of three clashes, with the other being a scoreless draw.

Geraldine and Cambridge is almost too tight to call, with either side capable of winning.

Colleen Suddaby, Jacqui Swales and Bronwyn Clark will be key players but they'll need support from Connie McFarlane, Tara Marshall and the rest of the team if they're to progress.

Cambridge's key lies in their attacking players, Leanne Marais, Beth Parker, Leigh Brunton, Molly Richardson and Kerri-Anne Bell and whether or not they can find the goal when it matters.

At a glance

Women's matches
Cambridge v Geraldine 12pm
Timaru Girls' v Hampstead 1.40pm

Men's matches
Cambridge v Temuka 3.20pm
Northern Hearts v Tainui 5pm

 - Stuff

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