Fifth loss in row for Southern women

Southern women suffered a fifth consecutive defeat at the under-21 nationals in North Harbour yesterday.

It latest loss was 3-1 at the hands of Auckland.

The final score was misleading. Southern was firmly in the contest for the majority of the match.

Neither side could breach the other's defence in the first two quarters.

Auckland eventually opened the scoring in the 35th minute when Black Stick Madison Doar found the back on the net.

But Tegan Buchanan levelled the scores midway through the final quarter to set up a tense final 10 minutes.

Megan Phillips scored from a penalty corner with three minutes remaining and Doar scored on fulltime to stretch the margin.

Canterbury leads the tournament but was tipped up by North Harbour in a shootout, while Central dispatched Midlands 4-1.

In the men's tournament, Southern had a bye.

Capital (16 points) moved into pole position with a 3-1 win against Midlands.

North Harbour (15 points) beat Auckland 5-4 in a shootout and remains firmly in contention for the title.

The title race will be decided today. Capital plays Canterbury in the early game and a win will enable it to claim the title.

If Capital drops points in a shootout or loses, it will open the door for North Harbour, which should beat Midlands based on form at the tournament.

Southern (12 points) is in third place and can slip past both teams if it posts a big win against Auckland and Capital and North Harbour both lose.

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