A quick start is what Springfield premier women's hockey coach Angeline Waetford asked for and that's exactly what she got when her side scored early to propel them to a 2-1 win over Maungakaramea on Saturday.
Waetford asked her side to come out firing at the start on their game and it wasn't long before Teuila Wendt found space at the top of the circle to pull off a stunning strike past the keeper to put Springfield ahead.
"My theory is that it's early in the season and teams aren't game-fit yet so if we try and the run the opposition into the ground in the first quarter then we can capitalise on that," Waetford said.
The stunned Maungakaramea side found their way back into the game in the second quarter when a long ball found Kellie Heappey free in the circle allowing her to equalise.
While it was an arm-wrestle for most of the match, Waetford asked her side to change tactics at half time to turn up the pressure in the second half.
"They had too much control of the ball at the back and we were giving them too much space so I wanted to shut that down with a high press in the second half."
With plenty of opportunities in the third quarter, it was some outstanding goalkeeping that kept Maungakaramea in the game.
The deadlock was finally broken midway through the last quarter when a perfectly placed long ball found striker Jodie Wendt wide open and she was able to use her skill to convert.
In the other premier women's match on Saturday, a tight tussle between Old Girls and Whangārei Girls' High School resulted in a 2-2 draw.
In the premier men's matches, Mangapai showed they are the team to beat this season with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Springfield on Friday night while Whangārei Boys' High School snuck in a last-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 with Maungakaramea on Saturday.