Kings puts Whales under pressure to hang on to shield

Kings United retained the Challenge Shield with a gritty 1-0 win over the University Whales in the Dunedin premier men’s competition on Saturday.

Daniel Torr capitalised on an opportunity in the attacking circle to squeeze one past keeper Lachlan Colquhoun to give Kings the lead.

University could not find an equaliser.

The students took their keeper off with two minutes to go for an additional player up front.

However, that was not where most of the play occurred, as Kings putt the University defence under a lot of pressure.

The scoreline remained, and Kings held on to the shield for another week.

The second fixture was between the Taieri Tuataras and Tainui.

Most expected the Tuataras to breeze through, but the Oamaru newcomers had other plans.

Finn Ward stepped up at penalty corner time to put the Tuataras in front, but that was to be the only scoring of the game.

The final men’s game between the University Panthers and the Albany Alligators was a goal frenzy.

The Alligators were 1-up early, and while they initially struggled to add to their tally, their class eventually told.

Johnny Thorn (two), Josh Stevens (two), Nick Parata, Eli Turner, Josh Smith and Tom French found the net to wrap up an 8-1 win.

The Panthers got one back through Daniel Taylor.

In women’s hockey, the City Highlanders produced a late flourish to beat Taieri Tigers 3-0.

City scored early, and while the Tigers applied some pressure of their own, and had some penalty corner opportunities, they could not get one past Ginny Wilson in goal.

The Highlanders had opportunities but could not add another goal until the final five minutes, when they scored two more, including one for Michelle Prendiville on debut.

The second game was between University teams, the Stingrays and the Huskies, in an annual clash that did not disappoint.

The Stingrays led 2-1 at halftime but the Huskies had the better of the second half, and it was 2-2 at the final whistle.

That forced a shootout, in which the Stingrays prevailed.

There was also a shootout in the final game as Kings United upset Momona.

Momona scored first but Kings equalised from a penalty corner and the score remained 1-1.

The Momona keeper, a late call-up, was given a rough introduction to shootouts with Kings going 2-up early, and Momona missed its first two opportunities to hand Kings the win.

 - Grace Milne

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