Katikati Cougars were excited to come home from Hamilton with a win on Saturday in their Midlands Intercity Hockey match against second-ranked Fraser Tech.
Katikati were one goal behind after only three minutes when Emma Andrews scored for Fraser Tech, but an equaliser was netted by Katikati's international veteran Debbie Masters from a penalty corner just before half time.
The game was even throughout most of the second spell until newcomer Jackie Heetkamp scored the winner only four minutes from time, to give Katikati a narrow 2-1 victory.
At the Tauranga Hockey Centre at Blake Park, CMS Mt Maunganui hosted last year's women's champions Thames Valley United.
During the opening 10 minutes the Mount strung together some good passes and put the Valley defence under pressure several times.
But Valley got into their rhythm and the goals started flowing, with Arnica Palmer scoring twice followed by Annie McNaughton and Anahira Hudson before the interval.
Mount fought hard in the second half and kept Valley out for 20 minutes, with Taryn Moore standing out for ball retention. Then Hudson scored another for Valley, and McNaughton fired in a sizzling backhand goal to round out the classy 6-0 victory.
With two more rounds of matches, Katikati and Mt Maunganui will be desperate for points to qualify for the semifinals. Currently Katikati lies fifth on the table followed by Mt Maunganui in sixth place.
The men's intercity hockey match at Tauranga on Saturday saw Hamilton Old Boys overwhelm Tauranga Old Boys by 5-2.
The 2015 champions started hard and fast, with Jamie Macauley collecting a rebound and putting the first goal on the scoreboard for the visitors within 90 seconds of the starting whistle.
Tauranga Old Boys' Denym Clarke responded with a penalty corner dragflick goal, but Connor Herewini beat the Tauranga goalie Steve Graham with a powerful shot, to put the visitors back in front.
Graham pulled off a spectacular save shortly after but Herewini goaled again just before the interval. Following a crisp centre from Abir Mukherjee, David Limmer beat the defence to get one back for Tauranga Old Boys early in the second spell.
Hamilton's strikers were kept out by several quality saves by Graham, but eventually Hamilton realised they had to work it around the goalie, and a PC deflection by Ricky Hayward added to their score followed by a final goal from Jamie Macauley resulting from some slick interpassing.
Te Hiraka Chase was prominent for Hamilton, but Tauranga suffered from poor passing options with expensive turnovers.
At Hamilton, Bayleys Otumoetai came close to accumulating three points for a win over Te Awamutu, after they turned 4-2 in front. Second-half pressure from Te Awamutu resulted in two goals to end the match in a 4-4 draw. In Rotorua competition leaders Suburbs-Piako were held to a 2-2 draw by BOP Indians.
The points table is crowded with two weeks to go before the semifinals: Suburbs 10, HOB 10, Fraser Tech 9, Otumoetai 8, Te Awamutu 7, TOB 6, Pukekohe Indians 3, BOP Indians 1.
Midlands Intercity results, July 23Championship Men
Hamilton Old Boys 5 (Jamie Macauley 2, Connor Herewini 2, Ricky Hayward) beat Tauranga Old Boys 2 (Denym Clarke, David Limmer), HT 3-1; Otumoetai 4 (Brad McKenzie, Cory Bruin, Tyler Bruin, John Preece) drew with Te Awamutu 4 (Ben Coxhead, Tai Wihare, Keenan McCleery, Jamie Brewer), HT 4-2; Fraser Tech 2 (Alec Wilson, Jason Coventry) beat Pukekohe Indians 1 (Umesh Hari), HT 0-1; Suburbs Piako 2 drew with BOP Indians 2, HT 1-1. Te Awamutu 2 beat Tauranga Old Boys 1 (played last Tuesday).
University 3 beat Thames Valley 1, HT 2-1, Kohekohe 5 beat Waiau Pa 2; BOP Barbarians 4 beat Onewhero Pukekohe 3, HT 1-1.
Katikati Cougars 2 (Debbie Masters, Jackie Heetkamp) beat Fraser Tech 1 (Emma Andrews), HT 1-1; Thames Valley United 6 (Arnica Palmer 2, Annie McNaughton 2, Anahira Hudson 2) beat Mount Maunganui 0, HT 4-0; Rotorua Aces 10 beat Marist St Michaels 1, HT 5-1; Suburbs Piako 3 (Anataia Brown, Drea Kutia, Scarlett Sullivan) beat Te Awamutu 0, HT 2-0; Waikato University 2 (Jess Turner, Demi O'Halloran) beat Hamilton Old Girls 1 (Toni Vickers), HT 2-1. Fraser Tech 1 (Maria Sartin) beat Hamilton Old Girls 0, HT 1-0 (played last Friday).