City coast past Kings to retain shield

The City Highlanders have easily held on to the Premier Women’s Challenge Shield, after coasting past Kings United 4-0 on Saturday.

The preseason favourites started the better, but could not convert from several penalty corner opportunities, as keeper Jess Wilden and her defence kept them at bay.

Just as it seemed Kings were growing into the game, their resistance was broken, largely owing to a piece of individual brilliance from Hayley Cox, who went on a jinking run before leaving it on a platter for Nicole Arundell to slot home.

Kings, to their credit, went straight back down the other end and worked a penalty corner, even sending it flying into the back of the net. Everyone looked around as it flew in because, to the naked eye, the shot was clearly too high, however, there was a question as to whether it deflected off of one of the City runners. In the end, it was deemed to be too high.

Billie Crowe. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Billie Crowe. PHOTO: ODT FILES
This was where City showed their ruthless edge, as within a minute they were down the other end to earn their own penalty corner, and finally they converted such an opportunity, as Arundell bagged her second.

Into the second period, the game got rather feisty as the cards began being tossed around, with seven given out by the time the full-time whistle eventually blew.

That was the main action of the second half, as with the resolve of Kings largely broken, City stretched their legs. Cox and Billie Crowe grabbed goals in the third and fourth quarter respectively, to secure victory.

In the day’s other premier women’s matches, there were two upsets, as both University teams picked up victory.

In the bigger of the two, the Stingrays continued on their promising showing last week to pick up a win this time around, taking out Taieri 2-1 to send last season’s finalists bottom.

There was also a shock win for the University Huskies, who mastered the previously unbeaten Momona. The Uni students surged into a 3-0 lead inside the first half and just had enough to hang on, despite a late comeback, eventually taking victory 4-3.

In the premier men’s competition, the big result of the day saw Kings United respond to their hiding last week by taking down the Albany Alligators, to firmly plant themselves as theNo 2 side in the competition this season.

In a real arm-wrestle of a game, Daniel Torr converted a slick penalty corner move, by sweeping one through Ben Sinnamon, who was otherwise once again in top form for the Gators. That goal proved enough, as Kings held on 1-0.

The University Whales avoided any threat of an upset as they ventured to Southland, easing to a 3-0 victory, after a brace from Jakob Bell-Kake.

Finally, the Taieri Tuataras flexed their muscles, pounding the University Whales 10-0 as James Nicolson bagged himself four goals.

— Nicholas Friedlander