This pencil pusher is not a regular at the hockey turf, but they must say it was great to see hockey back on the field this weekend. After locking down for Covid-19 there was a lot of pent up energy being released on the sports field.
Saturday 13 June 2020
Had a quick look at the Waiau Pa (Pa) Black team playing Onewhero Pukekohe (One Puke) in the U13 grade full field. The first quarter it was a bit hard to tell who was who, with both teams turning out in dark colours. Once One Puke put on red tops in the second quarter the game made more sense. If you just watched this game for a few minutes you would swear that One Puke was the dominant team however with a great defensive effort from the Pa they snuck a goal and took this game 1-0. A great start to the season in what looks like it will be a competitive pool of matches.
At the same time, the Kath Thompson U13 team (Ivory) was playing Fast 5’s on a field that is three quarters of the size of the U9 field. Now I am not a hockey nut, but one would think as kids get older and run faster you would open up the space more, not shut it down. Anyway, the Pa team versed a well drilled Alfriston team. The final score was 9-3 to Alfriston but both teams had their moments and Alfriston just scored from their opportunities whereas the final pass just went astray for the Pa team. Results will come for this team and I just loved seeing the kids out playing and all smiling and enjoying themselves.
Unfortunately, I missed the earlier U13 game with Waiau Pa White playing Kohekohe. Final score was 0-0. Do not worry White team, I will watch you play sometime soon, and you can knock some goals in for us to write about.
Next game this pencil pusher saw was a Pa versus Pa game in the youth grade. Now I am no rocket scientist but going from U13 grade playing full field to effectively an U15 game being played on smaller than a field for U9’s seemed a bit weird. While I can see that you can use the walls and there is no outs, the lack of space on the field meant the kids receiving the ball had no space and the umpiring allowed a lot of hacking which resulted in the game just not showcasing the skills that it could have. It also appeared really dangerous to be squashing all this play in such a small confined space. With the condensing of the fields the refs never kept teams 5 on free hits and the game just suffered as a result. Making the fields larger is a must for these larger kids if you want them to stretch their legs and attack at pace. This will also result in goal keepers having to deal with one on ones as it was like atoms bouncing around in a molecule and bouncing of each other. Now my rant is over I will get on to the game. 16-5 means there is a lot of goals and when given a chance these kids did show some great skills. The girls held their own with the ball and while I had to look up a name afterwards, this girl Neve scored 2 goals, one of which never touched the back board – she certainly kept the boys on their toes. Open the space up and this game would have been a great spectacle for the sport. So, come on CMHA deliver what you promised when you sold the concept of Fast 5’s to the clubs, otherwise our youth will just leave the game.
Next up was the U9 and u11’s. This pencil pusher had a sleep in and had to rely on their under cover agents to give details on each game. However, I did see the Daniel Schofield coached team (Eagles) play the Waiau Pa Herons based out of Reremoana school. What a great game and two very even teams. The final score was 2-2 and the kids relished the space on the turf. Great to see kids enjoying their hockey and playing with great spirit. The skills were a bit rusty after lockdown but plenty of time to get that right over the season. Daniel’s team certainly had a couple of young ladies who hunted the goal scoring opportunities closely. The master stroke was swapping coaches at half time with Ian Schofield taking over the coaching and his team seemed to fire up. Maybe Ian is hunting the Prem Women coaching role that Daniel does also. The Herons player of the day was Naren and the Eagles Player of the day was Oliver.
Then the seniors stepped on to field. The Prem women’s was first game up against the Baba’s. I counted 21 players on the field that wore Waiau Pa colours last year. 15 still in Pa colours and 6 for the Baba’s team. To be honest this had the feel of a preseason game with coaches trying different combinations. The Baba’s had the better of the first quarter and ex Pa player Leah looked dangerous in the middle. In the second quarter the Pa girls gained some ascendancy and only a Kelly save of the line stopped them from going 1-0 up after a MacKenzie touch. Baba’s did get a guilt edge chance late in the quarter where a square ball across the face of the goal would have resulted in the goal, but the attacker elected to shoot and it was an easy save for Lana. Then the Pa had to rely on the two fullbacks, Kath and Charlotte, combining to keep out a PC that was bouncing around on the line like a pinball machine. Pa did sink a PC in the back of the goal after the end of the quarter but the shot from Caitlyn was too high. The final quarter intensity dropped off, with both team’s fitness lacking. Overall, this was a very even game and both teams will improve from the hit out. Player of the day was Anita. Congratulations to Imogene, Brooklyn , Rosie, Evie and Abbey on their debuts. All of them looked very assured and will have long careers in the black and white. To be honest it is great to see these young girls just step up and ease into the team and Waiau Pa should be congratulated for the development of players in women’s hockey in CMHA.
Then the Skunks (men’s social) ran out on the number 2. Now a little birdie tells me that this social team had 13 players at practice. Maybe there was free beers after practice as that number is unheard of. Well done Rob for getting these guys engaged and practicing. The final score was a 7-1 win to the skunks. The first three goals were scored by Vaughan, I think the goalie stick was just excited to be getting a run in the field, so we put those goals down to the stick. I hope Vaughan’s shout did not go on to long. Other goals were scored by Andrew, Mike and Rob. The final goal was a goal that the black sticks would have been proud off with TJ getting the miracle deflection from a counterattack starting from the Pa defensive circle. Indians goal was scored in first quarter by the evergreen Raymond. He will still be telling everyone about as we write this article. Congratulations to Logan and Dylan on making their senior men’s hockey debut. You will learn a lot from these old fella’s so just enjoy your hockey and listen to their wisdom. Notable mentions include Andrew not getting past the women’s tee with an open goal and Carters shorts. With those shorts you were a certainty for dick of the day.
While all this was going on we looked across to the number 1 turf and Kohekohe was playing Indians. In the Indians team was two long time Pa players in Baden and Dan. It was great seeing Baden securing a permanent premiers position (even if it was for the green team) as the goal posts have been moved on this boy each year for the last three years as each year the age limit was extended for Intercity. We believe he has the talent, now he gets his chance to show what he has at premier level. Give it heaps Baden (except against the Pa where we might get your dad to mark you). Dan is a Pa favourite son and has put a lot into the Pa club with coaching and having been a senior club captain in the past. Looks like he was adding some Pa grit to the Indians midfield.
A quick trip back to the number 1 turf and the prem men were playing. This team has been a work in progress during lock down and coach Harry has done well to recruit players to get a team on the field. The result was a 2-3 loss but the more time this team spends together the better it will get. Nice debut for Harman with a sweet strike for his first goal in Pa colours. Long time since a Pa prem men’s team had no cards in the game. Keep up the good discipline.
Sunday 14 June 2020
Normally there would be three games played on a Sunday but both our Men’s and Women’s Reserve teams had a bye for the day. It will be good to see them play next week. We had the Kura Pa Ladies take the field for the first time and it was against our old rivals Glenbrook. They are always a hard-fought game and they didn’t disappoint us this week. The Kura Pa Ladies finished with a 3 – 1 win, well done Ladies. Neve debut with the senior ladies team today and topped it off with getting Player of the Day. Well done Neve.
Waiau Pa Orca’s 3 vs Waiau Pa Stingrays 5
Waiau Pa Penguins 2 vs Alfriston Swifts 0
Waiau Pa Magpies 7 vs One Puke Storm 1
Waiau Pa Tuis 2 vs One Puke Hurricanes 8
Waiau Pa Blackbirds 6 vs Kohekohe U11 3
Waiau Pa Herons 2 vs Waiua Pa Eagles 2
U13’s (11 aside)
Waiau Pa White 0 vs Kohekohe 0
Waiau Pa Black 1 vs One Puke 0
Waiau Pa Ivory 3 vs Alfriston Falcons 9
Waiau Pa Cream 4 vs Alfriston Ravens 1
WP Stingray 16 vs WP Penguins 5
Prem Men (Pirates) 2 vs One Puke 3
Prem Women (Panthers) 0 vs Baba’s 0
Reserve Men (Magpies) vs Bye
Reserve Women (Pandas) vs Bye
Div 1 Men (Skunks) 7 vs Indians Gold 1
Div 1 Women (Kura Pa) 3 vs Glenbrook 1