The Midlands women's hockey team began the second phase of the Ford NHL tournament with a resounding 8-0 win over Southern yesterday.
Midlands capitalised on their midfields' ability to force frequent turnovers and found ways into the Southern circle. Four goals came from penalty corners. Midlands kicked on from a 3-0 halftime lead as Amy Robinson and Agui Mornoi both claimed a brace of goals.
Shiloh Gloyn, captain Sam Charlton, Tarryn Davey and Gemma McCaw provided the rest of the scoring.
Charlton says the team worked hard for the victory.
"I think it was nice to get into more of a flow and our goals came from nice passing movements, not relying on one or two people. It felt like a really nice team game," Charlton said.
"It can be easy in a game like that when you are up by a couple of goals to fall asleep defensively so it was nice we didn't have any lapses and kept a clean sheet. We made sure we kept that intensity and kept going for the whole game."
Midlands missed out on a place in the top four after a win and two shootouts in pool play earlier in the tournament. They play Auckland today and Capital on Saturday before their final game on Sunday which, all going well, will be for fifth place.
"It is always a tough one when you are not playing the game you want to," Charlton says.
"But we made sure we were in a frame of mind to enjoy what we are doing and ensure we keep progressing."
Charlton says she is proud of the way her team have dealt with missing out on a top place.
"It is the way the way they hold their character on the field, we have had a few tough games and they didn't go the way we wanted them to but we have played hockey that is fun to watch."
Charlton and fellow Tauranga player and Black Stick Rose Keddell were solid in midfield.
Keddell said the team worked well together and it was good to put away goals when they created opportunities.
The Midlands men's team also missed out on the top four after three losses in pool play and played in their first second-phase game against a Tasmanian side last night.
The National Association Tournaments are being held alongside the NHL tournaments as well, also using the turf at Tauranga Boys' College.
The Tauranga-Bay of Plenty women's team had three convincing results in their pool games beating Counties-Manukau, Tasmania and Otago. They take on Tasman in their final pool game today.
The Tauranga-Bay of Plenty men's team lost to North Harbour in yesterday's quarterfinal.
The teams were locked at nil-all at fulltime before Harbour won the shootout 3-2. They will play South Canterbury tomorrow.
NHL results for Wednesday, September 18:
Women: Midlands 8, Southern 0.
Men: Midlands v Tasmania (overnight).