It may have been first-game nerves that contributed to the frantic pace of the premier women's hockey match between Maungakaramea and Whangārei Girls' High School (WGHS) which played out to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Maungakaramea opened the scoring early at the Kensington Park turf in the second quarter when Morgan Forrester was in perfect position to deflect a cross ball from Natasha Cotton into the back of the goal.
After going one goal up, Maungakaramea created more opportunities towards the end of the first half but didn't quite have the refined finishing needed to convert.
Maungakaramea coach Tama Jones said his side didn't control the second half of the game as well as they had done in the first half.
"In the second half, we went more into a running game and became a little bit less possession-based and ended up playing a bit of catch-up, following the ball around rather than controlling it," he said.
Unable to control the game, Maungakaramea let WGHS back into it and the school side created pressure with quick counter-attacks.
It was from a quick outlet that WGHS evened the score when Claire Donnelly got on the end of a fast attack midway through the final quarter.
Jones said he was happy with his side's performance as they looked to defend their competition title from last year.
"We've got a few changes we're trying to make and that was reflected in the game a bit, and we were a little bit indecisive at times and not as fluid as we could have been, but that is expected at this time of year."
In the other premier women's game, Springfield got their season off to the best possible start, scoring a goal within the first 30 seconds of their match against Hikurangi on Friday night.
Springfield continued to dominate the game throughout, ending up with a 5-0 victory.
In the premier men's matches played on Saturday, Mangapai opened their campaign with a classy 6-1 win over a young Whangārei Boys' High School side and Springfield scraped through with a 1-0 win in a tight match against Bream Bay United.