Wellington’s Kensway Men’s and Quinovic Women’s sides both got off to winning starts at the National Hockey Championships which started at Dunedin on Sunday.
Playing Manawatu in the day’s first game, Quinovic Women conceded an early goal, but captain Amy Robinson scored twice from penalty corners to give Wellington the lead with six minutes remaining. Manawatu attacked strongly and grabbed an equaliser from a penalty corner with just a minute to play, sending the game into a shoot-out.
This was won 3-0 by Wellington with Jess Kelly, Taranaki’s Anna Crowley and Kat Winter being successful, while goal-keeper Julia Gluyas kept out all three of Manawatu’s attempts.
The Kensway Wellington Men also found themselves a goal down early in their clash with Waikato but came back strongly to win 3-1. Liam Mortimer brought Wellington level early in the second quarter, before Dane Lett made it 2-1 in the third stanza from a penalty corner. Cam Gladding sealed victory with a well-taken field goal four minutes from full time.
On Monday morning Quinovic Wellington Women went down 2-1 to Waikato after a closely fought encounter. Both teams created scoring opportunities in the first half, but the opening goal did not come until two minutes from the end of the third quarter when Waikato’s experienced captain Oriwa Hepi scored after a flowing attack.
They increased their lead with another excellent field goal in the final quarter, before Amy Robinson replied for Wellington with four minutes to play after good lead-up play by Ruby Evans. They had a chance to score again from a penalty corner three minutes later, but Waikato were able to clear and chalked up their first win.
Kensway Wellington Men won their afternoon game against Manawatu 3-0 after going ahead early in the second quarter following a long solo run by Sajan Patel and a crisp pass to the flying Liam Mortimer. Mortimer put Wellington further ahead three minutes into the second half when he again tapped in after a series of well controlled passes among the forwards. The scoring was completed with three minutes to play when Benedict van Woerkom smashed home his shot from close range after a 16-yard hit.