Taking a look at the hockey this weekend and you have to reiterate to players of all ages that the result of a game is secondary. It is the way you play the game and making sure you enjoy the game and enjoy being with your mates playing the game you love. Only 1% of players go on to playing for the Blacksticks but even a Blackstick player will tell you it is hard to get through all the practices and games if you are not having fun. So, when this pencil pusher turns up and sees the smiles on the kids faces and sees the men’s premier team all socialising as team after a loss I can only applaud the club on the culture that it is trying to build.
Friday 19 June 2020
Anyway, on to the hockey. After a washout of junior practices on Thursday night it was great to have a clear Friday evening for everyone to get on the turf. I was a bit late but saw the Waiau Pa Ivory team have a good win over One Puke. The end score was 6-2 but it was a good battle of Fast 5’s. After the loss last week, it looks as though this team is starting to learn some concepts of Fast 5’s and passing of the wall etc. A big improvement in the space of a week.
At the same time, the Waiau Pa Black (11 aside) team was just finishing their game against United. A close game resulting in a 0-2 loss. The Pa team fought hard but just lacked the final touch and in the end the United team pressure resulted in a couple of goals.
The Waiau Pa white team then played an 11 aside game against Indians. Indians is always a welled drilled side, but nothing annoys this pencil pusher more than having 11 and 12-year-old kids arguing with ref’s and swearing and gesturing at the opposition. So while the white team lost I believe that they were the winners in sportsmanship and life and in the end I repeat only 1% of players will play for Blacksticks so will these players still enjoy their hockey when they realise they do not reach the ultimate level – only time will tell. However, I am proud that I am associated with the Waiau Pa club in this instance. Keep up the good sportsmanship, enjoy your hockey and train hard and the rewards will come. I thought there were some players that stood out. When I first watched this game Waiau Pa was defending PC’s. Their first runner was nearly beating the ball to the top of the circle. That first runner was Yandri and she repeated this sprint time and time again. Stazia showed some good pace on the right wing and Ryan and Yash worked tirelessly on defence. Yash demonstrated that he was a good thinker of the game taking quick auto passes before the opposition defence could set. I also though the goalie, Jemma, showed a really good presence in the goal and her positioning was very sound. Hard to believe she is a first-year keeper playing her second game. Waiau Pa has a tradition of producing good goalies and I believe they may have found the next goalie to develop here.
The Youth grade then played Fast 5’s. First up was the Penguins against Kohekohe. A big 18-2 win. The goals were shared around, and every player scored at least one goal. There were goals from hallway but given the condensed field size this is a kin to shooting from the top of the circle on a full field game. Still room to improve with first touches and finishing but there were lots of smiles which was good.
Next up was the Stingrays and they had a 21-2 win. To be honest some of these players did not seem to break a sweat. Interesting to see Dylan going from playing in the field for one team to being a goalie for the other, great versatility being shown. I am going to hop on my bandwagon and urge CMHA to increase the size of the field. For some of these kids it close to 10 strides to get from one side of the field to the other and it is just to easy to shut space down. One has to ask if Fast 5’s is going to grow youth hockey when you have teams having 53 goals against them in 2 games. I question how players are going to continue being motivated to turn up and whether in the end this may turn players away from hockey. However, we note that there are not enough teams in this competition to split the competition into grades so there is not an obvious solution. If we could increase the size of the field it may increase the fitness requirement and place less importance on stick work. I still get annoyed when I see U9’s and U11’s playing on a bigger field and then watch these youth teams not getting out of a jog.
Saturday 20 June 2020
To the U9’s and u11’s I apologise as I had a sleep in (by accident) on Saturday morning. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, so this pencil pusher was also in trouble at home for not doing the chores around the house. Time to escape to hockey.
I did see the Waiau Pa Eagles play Indians. The Eagles were down 2-0 at half time and it could have been 3-0 early in the 2nd half except Grace made an excellent save on the line. This seemed to spark the Eagles into gear with a nice shot from Oliver from the top of the circle resulting in a goal to the Eagles. Then the Eagles broke up field and a good interchange of passing between Devon and Oliver resulted in another goal to Oliver. Unfortunately, Indians scored again to close out the game. Grace got player of the day for a good all-round game.
Next up was the Premier Ladies playing the Baba’s in a repeat of last week’s game. This game had a feeling of ground hog day about it and the Waiau Pa team seemed to lack the edge they had in the previous week. Maybe the team suffered from groundhog syndrome. The Baba’s knocked in a goal in the first quarter via ex Pa player Leah Arthur-Worsop. To be honest it was a nice strike. The Baba’s then scored in the 3rd quarter with a PC strike. Cards late in the game to the Chalmers sisters did not help the team’s chances. Grace Chalmers was awarded player of the day. Keep your chin up girls, you are going really well learning the new patterns and most of all remember to enjoy the game and each other’s company. You will only play hockey while your bodies allow but you make friendships through sport that will last forever.
During this game, the Skunks (men’s social) took the field against Kohe and had a good win 8-0 (but that was the hockio score and this pencil pusher counted at least 4 goals in the second half and the half time score was 5-0). However, the Skunks seem to be in good form, and they all seem to be getting along well and enjoying their games. Midfield is being run well by the old heads of Mike, Simon and Richie and the forwards are reaping the rewards. Derek in goal must look forward to practice as he has not seen many shots in the first two weeks.
The premier men then played Kohe. Kohe defeated Indians last week so this was always going to be a tough ask for the young Pa side. The 9-1 result shows the game was a bit one sided, but Harry Singh’s Pa side never gave in and the goal was well deserved for the positive attitude demonstrated. In a really nice touch, the Prem men invited all of their supporters back to the local for a drink and it is this type of gesture that will build team and club moral.
Sunday 21 June 2020
Sunday saw the Kura Pa team take the field with only 10 players against Kohe Social. Kohe won 4-1 as our Kura Pa team ran out of legs. This was not helped by Amorita dislocating a shoulder during the game and the Kura Pa team continuing with only 9 players. At least Amorita scored the goal before she was carted off to A&E. My understanding is that the Kura Pa team has to learn this is hockey and not soccer and you do not head the ball.
Our men’s reserves lined up against Indians who were finalists in the 2019 competition. A tough game to draw first up for some of the young Pa players. For a first hit out I thought they acquitted themselves really well. A welcome back to the Pa colours for Devos and Cameron. Their inclusion in the team along with the old heads of Sharn and player coach Curt Goldsmith give this team a good core to build from. If the young boys can listen and learn from the old fella’s then they will have a year where they learn a lot. Nice stroke save from Carter in this game, even if it was a lucky guess. Half time score was 0-2 and full time it was 0-5. Cards during the game to Kurt, a green for not being 5m and a green for Cameron because Indians asked for it, did not help the teams cause.
Then the Panda’s took the field. Four girls pulling out with sore throats and strict Covid-19 requirements meant this team took the field with only 10 players. Up against a Kohe team fielding some Intercity players meant the Pa girls had as much chance of winning this game as Leah Arthur-Worsop had of passing her restricted licence on her first attempt. Sorry Leah, just because you are no longer a Pa player it does not exempt you from a bit of gentle ribbing. The Pa girls ran their hearts out. Chloe made an excellent save on the line when they were 0-1 at the end of the first quarter. A tough call from umpire awarding a stroke early in the second quarter and then a quick goal resulted in the half time score being 3-0. The 3rd quarter saw Kohe knock in 5 goals. Amber made repeated saves but there is only so much a keeper can do. The 4th goal was a prime example where Amber made 4 saves before the 5th shot scored. It was during this quarter you could see the Pa girls just running out of steam. In the final quarter the Pa girls got a second wind and made some sweeping attacks. Rosie always looked a threat on the ball and Jo was also very strong in the midfield. With a full team and reserves this team will be very competitive.
The Kohe men’s reserves took the field against One Puke. Two ex Pa players lining up for Kohe in Adam and Mitchell. Mitch scored the first goal for Kohe and Adam looked very comfortable in the left midfield position and they combined well to set up some good raids. At least these two have not grown the mullets widely sported in this team so we can see where the intelligence in the team is sitting. Cannot wait to see Andrew Massey with the team mullet.
Waiau Pa Stingrays 9 vs One Puke 0
Waiau Pa Orca’s 1 vs Waiau Pa Penguins 1
Waiau Pa Tuis 0 vs Indians Daredevils 14
Waiau Pa Blackbirds 10 vs One Puke Storm 0
Waiau Pa Magpies 2 vs Puke United Poseidon 9
Waiau Pa Herons 1 vs One Puke Thunder 5
Waiau Pa Eagles 2 vs Indians Sunrisers 3
U13’s (11 aside)
Waiau Pa White 0 vs Indians Kings 6
Waiau Pa Black 0 vs Puke United Apollo 2
Waiau Pa Ivory 6 vs One Puke Lightning 2
Waiau Pa Cream 7 vs One Puke Strikers 8
WP Stingray 21 vs One Puke Sharks 2
WP Penguins 18 vs Kohekohe Youth 2
Prem Men (Pirates) 1 vs Kohekohe 9
Prem Women (Panthers) 0 vs Baba’s 2
Reserve Men (Magpies) 0 vs Indians 5
Reserve Women (Pandas) 0 vs Kohekohe 11
Div 1 Men (Skunks) 8 vs Kohekohe 0
Div 1 Women (Kura Pa) 1 vs Kohekohe 4