Hockey: Northern men, Canterbury women top

The contenders in the national under-21 tournament are starting to take shape as Northern men and Canterbury women sit comfortably on top of the points ladder.

Canterbury women are top of the table on 12 points, despite having the bye yesterday, with Auckland sitting behind on 10, having played one more game than the tournament leader. Southern women took two points from their game against Midlands after they went into a penalty shootout for the second day in a row when the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Southern played a great defensive game, keeping Midlands to only one goal in the first half and then pegging the score back in the second period.

Jamie Wiles scored in the second half and Southern was able to hold on to take the game to a penalty shootout.

Southern took two points from the game after winning the shootout 3-1 to go into third place.

Northern men are closer to securing a place in the men's final, sitting top of the table on 12 points, with three teams behind on eight points each.

The Southern side suffered its first outright defeat of the tournament, losing to Central in a game that looked like it would again go into another penalty shootout for the southerners.

Southern found itself 3-1 down just after halftime but, for the third day in a row, started a fightback with Tom Clarkson and Nick Elder scoring to take it to 3-3.

Southern, however, was unable to hold on for the draw going down 5-3, which takes it to fifth on seven points.

In the other men's games yesterday, Auckland beat Central 5-2, and Northern downed Canterbury 5-4. In the women's games, Capital defeated Northern 1-0, and Auckland thumped Central 5-0.



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