Stratford Men's A hockey team challenged the New Plymouth Boys High School (NPBH) first XI in the semifinals this weekend.
Boys High jumped out to an early lead, going into the halftime break 3-nil up.
In typical Stratford fashion, they were not going to roll over and came out of the break strong, closing the gap with two nice goals from Curtis Boyde.
NPBH had to defend extremely well in the final five minutes to keep out a determined Stratford side desperate to make another Taranaki men's premier final. Despite their efforts, Boys High secured the 3-2 win.
Stratford move on to play Hāwera for third and fourth.
Stratford Broadway faced off against Te Kiri for the last spot in next week's final.
Both teams started off strong. A penalty corner gained in the last quarter was all Broadway needed, and a well-placed strike by Isa Butler-Mather secured the goal they needed.
Broadway held back Te Kiri until the end, ending the game 1-0 and are now through to the finals against Northern Masters.
Avon faced a tough challenge in New Plymouth against a New Plymouth Boys High School second XI side full of talent.
The team was depleted with a range of work commitments, leading to some positional changes. A big effort in the first half, until Boys High found a few goals before half time.
With the game slipping away the team kept fighting, creating chances and PCs, Mitch Best scoring from one.
The final score was 6-1 score but doesn't show how far this team has come. Young kids learning and attempting to play a great passing game. They have shown heart and courage and some fabulous glimpses of the club's future.
Stratford B Women travelled to New Plymouth to play a great game against New Plymouth Old Boys second XI.
Some great defence held New Plymouth Old Boys for much of the first quarter. Two goals in the middle quarters to Rebecca Dearden and Rebecca Burnard kept Stratford in the game.
Sadly, the slick play and on-point passing from NPOB put Stratford under pressure, going down 6-2, now playing for 3rd and 4th position.
12.30pm: Championship Women
2pm: Championship Men
4pm: Premier Women
6pm: Premier Men