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It was all but impossible to separate Kings United and the University Blue Whales at the McMillan Centre on Saturday.
The score was 1-1 at the break and 2-2 at fulltime before Kings prevailed in a lengthy shootout.
In a midweek match, Kings had won easily 4-0 but this was a much closer game between the two teams.
As usual, the Whales side came out of the blocks hot despite conceding an early goal through Kings’ Daniel Torr.
But the students came back and managed to apply enough pressure to equalise by halftime via a penalty stroke converted by George Wood.
In the second half, both teams threw everything into it and it was all-out attack.
Varsity fullback George Wood grabbed another as he converted a penalty stroke for his team while soon after Kings United veteran defender James Nation scored from an attacking penalty corner to tie it up at fulltime.
The match went into five rounds of sudden-death shootout action as the teams could not be separated.
Finally, Craig Turner was able to seal the deal for Kings allowing the side to hold on to the Challenge Shield.
In the other match, Albany had a 3-0 win over the University Panthers. Jason Dungey grabbed a double and Nick Parata scored the other goal.
Taieri Tuataras had the bye and will play midweek against the Panthers.
University Huskies claimed their first outright points for the season against a somewhat depleted Taieri Tigers team on Saturday.
The students made the most of some missing depth on the Tigers side.
Varsity drew first blood through Aleisha Chalmers in her first game for the Huskies, only to have Taieri run down the other end and score an equaliser through Anna Boult.
The Huskies got on top and went on to score another two through Lucy Simpson and Petra Hall, making it 3-1 at the end.
The City Highlanders side was much too strong for Kings United, leading 4-0 at halftime, winning 7-0 in the end.
Tegan Buchanan got a hat trick while Sarah Thomas and Bayley Anderson both scored two goals each.
Momona A hung on to second place with a 5-0 win over the University Stingrays.
Claudia Peyroux, with two goals, continued her scoring streak, Jorja Dinan got two goals while Abby Lennon was also on the score sheet.
- Rachael Lecky