A five-goal haul from Maungakaramea striker Anna Cooper helped her side to a 6-2 win over Whangarei Girls' High School in their premier women's hockey match on Saturday.
It was all action in the first half with seven goals scored and Cooper got Maungakaramea on the board early in the game when she converted a penalty stroke.
Maungakaramea kept up the pressure and had sustained periods on attack before Cooper got her second.
A couple of quick breaks gave Girls' High a few opportunities on attack and they managed to convert two chances. However, Maungakaramea strung together good passing phases to keep possession which allowed Kirsty Jurisich to add one and Cooper another two for Maungakaramea to go into halftime with a 5-2 lead.
Maungakaramea coach Kirsten Forrester said it was a good team effort right from the start, and commended Cooper on her ability to finish in front of goal.
The goal-scoring slowed in the second half as both sides had chances but their scrambling defence held strong until the final minute of the match when Cooper got her fifth.
The battle between the third and fourth-placed teams had little riding on it in terms of how they would finish the season on the table but since they are likely to face each other in the first round of playoffs, Forrester believed the win will give Maungakaramea the edge in coming weeks.
In other premier women's games, Springfield showed they mean business leading into playoffs by beating Mangapai 12-0 while Old Girls beat Hikurangi 5-1.
In the premier men's competition, Mangapai beat Whangarei Boys' High School 3-1 and Maungakaramea beat Bream Bay 5-2.