A goal in the last two minutes of the game gave Springfield premier men's hockey team a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bream Bay United on Saturday.
With both teams going into the second half with the score at 1-all, tensions were high as the end drew closer. Tempers flared as Springfield's late match-winner went in but eventuated to little more than chest-to-chest confrontations between players.
"We played some pretty good hockey at times and not so good at other times," Springfield coach Grant McLeod said.
"We created a number of chances and didn't really put them away which is a bit par for the course for us."
McLeod said he was glad to get a win on the board but knew his side needed to step up their level of play against unbeaten league-leaders Mangapai in their next fixture.
"It was a step up in terms of basics and execution and it might be a bit different playing Mangapai but as long as we are improving, that's the main thing."
Bream Bay coach Vicki Gribble was gutted to see her side lose in the final minutes of the game but she said they fought well in a physical match.
"From my point of view, I was pretty pleased with how we performed, it's a huge step up from a disappointing first round."
Regarding the confrontations between players as the final goal went in, Gribble said it was just a result of players caring about the game and the result.
"I quite like the fact that players are passionate about the game because I know after that goal, the intensity increased and we need to realise it's men's hockey and not babies," she said.
With her side sitting on the bottom of the table, Gribble said they needed to improve their composure in front of goal.
"I'm pretty happy with the opportunities we are creating but we need to create more, the more chances we get, the more likely you are to convert them."
The other game in the men's competition saw Mangapai beat Whangārei Boys' High School, 6-2.
In the women's premier competition, Springfield racked up another win with a 4-1 victory against Hikurangi and Whangārei Girls' High School solidified their hold on second place on the table by beating Maungakaramea, 3-1.