Mount Maunganui will go into this week's Midlands Intercity cup championship round as favourites, with a restocked team that will likely help them secure a spot in the finals.
In the last round of matches for the Intercity women's grading round last weekend, a depleted Mount side took the field against second-ranked Fraser Tech, with six players missing from their usual line-up. The result went in Tech's favour, beating Mount Maunganui 3-0.
Though their manager Bernadette Millar commented she was not too worried because her team held a 4-point lead at the top of the ladder, Tech came to play and put the Mount defence under pressure from the starting hooter.
In this week's championship round Mount Maunganui are expected to have a restocked team which will include key player Kate Savory, who was missed last weekend. Leading goalscorer Abbie Johnson is also hoping to be given a medical clearance to play Saturday after being sidelined in recent weeks. They will, however, be missing regular goalie Isla Johnson and striker Gemma Lucas, who have rep commitments.
Playing each other for the second time in a row, Tauranga Hockey Association spokesman Bill Webb expects Mount Maunganui to be the favourite over Fraser Tech this weekend, predicting they will face off again in the final round.
Mount Maunganui will play Fraser Tech in Hamilton but there will be two home games for Otumoetai and Tauranga Old Boys.
Meanwhile, during last Saturday's Midlands Intercity hockey competition the two local men's clubs fought out a tense 2-2 draw at Tauranga.
Tauranga Old Boys rocked Otumoetai by scoring in the 15th minute from their speedy striker Abir Mukherjee. Old Boys had the better of the first half, which was not entirely expected from their relative ranking this season. Paul Breuling and Jono Simmonds stood out for Otumoetai, while Abir Mukherjee was the most effective Old Boys player.
The other women's match saw Otumoetai in a contest with Rotorua-based Marist, with the local side coming out with the much-needed win and a final score of 2-0.
Otumoetai needed the win to clinch a position in the top six for the cup championship round, a win that wasn't easy taking Otumoetai more than 20 minutes to convert one of several opportunities, when Sam Curtis scored.
Then in the second half, dependable Dani Maunder got her name on the scoresheet to give Otumoetai a 2-0 victory. Sam Curtis received the MVP award for the winning team.
June 30 results:
Women's grading round:
Otumoetai 2 Marist 0, HT 1-0
Fraser Tech 3 Mount Maunganui 0, HT 1-0
Waikato University 4 Rotorua Aces 3
Hamilton OG 7 Waiau Pa 0
Suburbs 4 Te Awamutu 0
Men's Cup Championship:
Collegians 5 Fraser Tech 1
Kohekohe 4 Waikato University 1
BOP Indians 1 Hamilton OB 1
Te Awamutu 1 Pukekohe Indians 0
Men's Plate Competition:
Tauranga OB 2 Otumoetai 2, HT 1-0
Rotorua Aces 9 Waiau Pa 0
Suburbs 4 Onewhero 0
Mount Maunganui v Fraser Tech at 3.15pm in Hamilton
Otumoetai v Rotorua Aces at 2pm in Rotorua
Waikato University v Hamilton Old Girls at 4.45pm in Hamilton
Otumoetai v Rotorua Aces at 1.45pm at Tauranga Hockey Centre
Tauranga Old Boys v Onewhero at 3.15pm at Tauranga Hockey Centre