Dogs step up but undone by inability to finish; Storm stays in the cellar

Mark Kake.
Mark Kake.
A lack of finishing ability saw the Southern Dogs succumb in their semifinal of the national hockey league.

The side ended up  fourth, having thrown everything at their semifinal — in which they went down 2-1 to eventual champion North Harbour — before being beaten 6-1 by Capital in the bronze match in Wellington.

Having come into the tournament ranked eighth, the Dogs may have performed above expectations but were still disappointed with the result.

The side was dominant in the second half of its semifinal.

It created seven clear chances and got the ball into its attacking 25 58 times, as opposed to 26 the first time it played North Harbour, coach Mark Kake said.

However, it was unable to finish those chances, which in the end was costly.

It conceded its first goal early as Cory Bennett buried a penalty corner, before Kalyan Jeram finished on another penalty corner in the 20th minute.

Lachie Davidson struck back for Southern in the 34th minute but it was the only chance Southern was able to take.In yesterday’s third and fourth playoff,  Davidson got the Dogs off to a good start, scoring in the second minute.

It was all Capital from there, though, as Sam Miskimmin and Benedict van Woerkom scored quick goals to give the home side a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Van Woerkom scored again in the second before a flurry from Dane Lett and Sebastian Buddle gave Capital three goals in four minutes in the third quarter.It was a disappointing end to the week, Kake said. The lack of finishing ability was something Southern needed to work on going forward.

However, he said it had been good to get some players from the region national league experience, as that was something you could not imitate.

He felt there had been several outstanding performers throughout the week.

Goalkeeper Dom Dixon had been strong, as had defender Matt Moore.

Jonny Thorn impressed with his pace, while Campbell Paton had a good week, as did experienced players Nick Ross and Nick Elder.

In the women’s league, the Southern Storm was unable to stay off the bottom of the table with a 4-0 loss to Capital.

After two shaky starts it was able to keep Capital out in the first quarter, although Imogen Neil broke the deadlock just after the first break.

Two quick goals in the 38th and 39th minutes to Charlotte Eastman and Bronie Edwards made that 3-0, before Amy Lawton scored Capital’s fourth in the 58th minute.

North Harbour came from behind to beat Auckland 5-3 to win the men’s championship.

Cory Bennett scored three goals from penalty corner drag flicks as the team romped home with four goals in the final eight minutes.In the women’s league, first-half goals to Gemma McCaw, Rose Keddell and Samantha Charlton helped Midlands claim a 4-2 win over Northland. 

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