Catch-up game test for turf

University player Erin Roxburgh looks to get past Mosgiel's Lauren Pendreigh (left) and Ella Scarf-Miller. Photo: Linda Robertson
University player Erin Roxburgh looks to get past Mosgiel's Lauren Pendreigh (left) and Ella Scarf-Miller. Photo: Linda Robertson
The Otago University women's premier side finally got to have a runaround last night - in the newest and flashiest of surroundings.

The side took on Mosgiel in a women's premier league catch-up match under lights at the new artificial turf at Logan Park.

The turf is set to become a base for football in the city in the coming years.

There are some finishing touches to be done to the surroundings of the turf, but games were played on the surface in the weekend.

It was a welcome match for the University side.

It would be fair to say the side has not been overburdened by match play.

The season kicked off on April 6 and in that time the side has played the grand sum of two matches - one in the league and one in the Kate Sheppard Cup.

Four games have been deferred over that time - all league games - and there has been a bye thrown in for good measure.

One of the games was postponed by the University team as players had commitments in Christchurch, but the other three games have been put off after requests by the opposition.

The side was due to play Queenstown last Saturday but got a call from the Queenstown club wanting to postpone the game as its team had a lot of injuries.

Coach James Coombes said the team was willing to accommodate other clubs and so did not mind delaying games.

One other game was deferred because of injured players, while another postponement was for a social event - the Hyde St party.

He said in hindsight perhaps it had been the wrong decision to defer so many of the games.

They side was now be left with a scenario of having to play three games inside a week.

It will play a regular season game on Saturday against Roslyn-Wakari, before returning to the artificial turf next Monday night to play Green Island in another catch-up game.

Coombes said no players had moved on because of the delayed games but some players - both male and female - had left the club because of limited training opportunities.

With the turf being built on some of the club's training fields, it had had to look at other fields, especially after daylight saving ended. It headed to Opoho but those fields were not suitable for football training.

But the short-term pain should be long-term gain as the turf will be used for training.

Not that the lack of training appears to be hurting the club.

The premier men's team has qualified for the South Island league while its lower grade men's teams are going well.

For the record, the side has won both its games so far, beating the University second XI in the league and Mosgiel in the cup.

In the game last night, University won 6-0.

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