There was a great irony in Tech College Old Boys 7-3 loss to College in their Manawatu Premier 1 hockey game at Gonville on Saturday afternoon.
After having a raft of personnel absences as they scraped together a team in their previous matches in Palmerston North, TCOB had a full compliment of 15 willing players at home.
However, despite a full bench, they still had to play short for 10 minutes of the match after a player was carded, and it made all the difference as College blew the score out from their 3-2 lead at halftime to score three more goals while TCOB were a man down.
"It was as good a strength side as we could have fielded," said coach Russell Burgess, who was unable to attend due to Field Days.
"It was a very fast game, the players said it was the fastest game this season.
"What really cost them was the send off.
"It was rough and tumble, sounds like it was justified."
Matt Ford scored one of the Tech goals with a drag flick, while Kane Watkin got another and the third was a deflection off a defender.
Josh McDonnell had a good game on defence, while the player of the day was Craig Hilbourne in his second match for the club side.
TCOB goes back on the road to the Twin Turfs this Saturday to play High School Hockey Club.
The combined Wanganui women's team also didn't have their coach when they played HSHC in the early afternoon game, however Colleen Baylis can be forgiven after just giving birth to a new daughter.
Wanganui were absorbing the pressure early in the first quarter, as HSHC took advantage of midfield turnovers to get two penalty corners.
Kirsty Parsons made a couple of saves around the circle, creating rare chances for the likes of Georgia Matson and Jessica Watkin on the breakaway.
However, these moments were few as HSHC continued to get the better of territory, and after one shot was deflected away, they grabbed the rebound to score nearly quarter time.
This opened the floodgates slightly as HSHC scored twice in the second quarter, before Wanganui would have a stronger second half - sharing the third quarter 1-1 after a goal to Matson, while the final period was kept scoreless.
"We did some good stuff, the girls played pretty well," said player and acting coach Jan Dixon.
Not helping the team was having three of their best athletic players away at the New Zealand Secondary School cross country championships in Christchurch.
"They were the three young legs that would have made a bit of difference there," said Dixon.
HSHC is one of the former Manawatu Division 1 teams that Wanganui struggle against, so they will be looking forward to playing Palmerston North Girls High this weekend at the Twin Turfs.
It was another busy weekend as the Central West representative team, which includes TCOB's Lee Moir, former TCOB player Joseph Redpath and Rangitikei's Angus Griffin played Midlands West in a Conference Cup game in Stratford.
Central lost 3-1, despite scoring first through Hayden Krivan (Massey Men's) from a penalty corner in the 11th minute.
Midlands replied with back-to-back penalty corner goals in the 25th and 28th minutes, while they scored again in the 39th minute and were never headed.
The Central West Women's team play Midlands this coming Saturday, including Rangitikei's Pippa Norman and Whanganui's Emma Rainey, although the latter will probably be away on Central Under 18 duties.
Midlands beat them 6-1 in their last meeting.
After that, the final round of Cup games for both Central teams will be July 23.