Defending champion Kings out, Momona still alive in women’s competition

Momona still has an opportunity to defend its Dunedin premier women’s crown after winning a thriller against Taieri on Saturday, but Kings will not go for five men’s titles in a row after falling to Albany on a gripping semifinals day.

Taieri’s Olivia Wills scored the first goal of the women’s game. There were plenty of sticks around the goal and a deflection gave the Tigers the advantage.

Momona responded with pressure on Taieri’s goal and a couple of penalty corners, but the Tigers’ defence held.

After some poor passing out of its own territory by Momona, Meila Eades went on the counterattack. Her first shot was blocked by the goalie but the second effort made it 2-0 to Taieri.

Nicole Strawbridge scored from a penalty corner to get Momona back in the game, and it was 2-1 to Taieri at halftime.

Taylor Duffy then made it 2-2, and momentum shifted to Momona.

Both sides had opportunities to break the deadlock with penalty corners, but the game headed to a shootout.

Momona converted both its penalties and Taieri missed.

Momona plays the University Huskies in the elimination final on Wednesday.

City Highlanders go straight to the final after beating the Huskies 2-0 on Saturday.

Jess Faulks opened the scoring for the Highlanders, and Sarah Thomas sealed the win with under a minute remaining.

In the playoff for fifth place, Kings beat Uni Stingrays 4-1. Ella Rooney nabbed a double and there were goals for Holly Riddick and Maddie Peel. Rose Stephenson scored for the Stingrays.

The men’s semifinal also lived up to its expectations, as Albany beat Kings United 2-1.

The first quarter featured a couple of penalty corners for Kings and Albany enjoying attacking along the right edge, but no goals.

Jakob Annison had an unsuccessful shot on goal but the pressure remained for Kings.

Moments later, Nick Parata’s shot on goal was defended but the rebound was gathered by Sam Young to score for the ’Gators.

Albany held its 1-0 lead till halftime.

A penalty corner converted by Hugh Jenkins doubled Albany’s lead, but there was an immediate riposte by Kings, through Daniel Torr, to make it 2-1 with a quarter to go.

Kings had several opportunities in the final quarter, spending the last few minutes camped in Albany’s circle, but could not break through.

Albany will play Taieri in the elimination final on Wednesday.

The University Blue Whales went straight to the final with a 2-1 win over Taieri.

The Tuataras had started well with a goal to Patrick Ward, but the Blue Whales got themselves into the game and won, thanks to a double from Henry Will.

 - Jack Ward

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