In only their second year in the Midlands Intercity Hockey League, Katikati Cougars have qualified for the women's final to be played this Saturday.
On Saturday, Katikati defeated Fraser Tech in Hamilton in a close-fought semifinal while at Ngatea Thames Valley United came from behind to beat CMS Mt Maunganui 3-2 for the other place in the women's final.
The Katikati win was far from easy. Fraser Tech scored first and piled the pressure on throughout the first half. Soon after the break, former South African representative Franki Traini scored the equaliser for Katikati, then 15 minutes later Rebecca Kersten fired a superb backhand shot high into the left corner of the Tech goal.
Fraser Tech fought fiercely for another goal to keep them in the game and came awfully close when a shot hit the edge of the goalpost and rebounded out. However Katikati defended with grit and determination until the final hooter to win by 2-1.
It was a similar story at Ngatea where Mt Maunganui were first to score early in the game. Then last year's champions Thames Valley strung together their slick passing moves to score twice before the interval.
Thames Valley and the Mount both scored again in the second spell, but Thames Valley emerged with the 3-2 win and a berth in the women's final.
The men's semifinals were both played at Hamilton, with two periods of golden goal extra-time needed for Suburbs to despatch Fraser Tech 4-3 in the first semi, then 2015 winners Hamilton Old Boys triumphed 2-0 over Te Awamutu in the second semi.
At Tauranga it was a local derby between Bayleys Otumoetai and Tauranga Old Boys for fifth place.
Leading 2-1 at the turn, Otumoetai applied increasing pressure on Old Boys' defence and goals resulted at regular intervals in the second half.
All three members of the Bruin family got their names on the scoresheet, first with Tyler then Hayden and Cory each scoring for Otumoetai in their 5-2 victory.
The Intercity women's and men's finals will be held at the Tauranga Hockey Centre on Saturday, with the women's final at 2pm and the men's final at 3.30pm, preceded by the match for the men's plate at 12.30pm.
Semifinals, Katikati Cougars 2 (Franki Traini, Rebecca Kersten) Fraser Tech 1, HT 0-1; Thames Valley United 3 (Sarah Brunsden, Annie McNaughton, Katelyn Daysh) Mt Maunganui 2 (Gemma Board, Greer Golding), HT 2-1.
Play-off for fifth place, Rotorua Aces 3 Suburbs-Piako 1. For seventh place, Waikato University 3 Hamilton Old Girls 2. For 9th place, Marist-St Michaels 5 Te Awamutu 1.
Semifinals, Hamilton Old Boys 2 Te Awamutu 0; Suburbs-Piako 4 Fraser Tech 3.
Play-off for fifth place, Otumoetai 5 Tauranga Old Boys 2, HT 2-1. For seventh place, BOP Indians 4 Pukekohe Indians 1.
Semifinals, Waikato University 3 Waiau Pa 2; Kohekohe vs Thames Valley, result not yet to hand.
Play-off for fifth place, Onewhero 11 BOP Barbarians 0.