Momona keeps finals hopes alive with win

Momona did its best to keep pace with the competition leaders by scoring a tight 3-2 victory over Taieri, as Otago women’s club hockey approaches the final stage.

The girls in red will need results to go their way to overtake University for the second finals place, but kept their hopes alive on Saturday.

Taieri started the stronger side and was aggressive in the first 10 minutes. The pressure told and it gained an early 1-0 lead through midfielder Mira Neuman.

Momona was shaken to life and, as often happens, the momentum of the match shifted following the goal. Several penalty corners in quick succession eventually led to the strike back, through Matisse Uluilelata.

A holding pattern ensued through the middle part of the first half; neither side constructed much on attack, favouring pushing forward perhaps a little too quickly, and turnovers in key positions of the field ruined further scoring chances.

Momona was able to add a second before the break after a counterattack led to a PC. The second half continued in a similar manner. The end-to-end nature of the match ensured a high pace, but also relatively easy clean-ups for the defences, as the front line attackers would receive the ball without their midfields in support.

As time began to wind down, Taieri threw more players forward chasing the equaliser, but this opened up gaps in behind. After collecting the ball deep in her defensive area, Momona fullback Lydia Shirley was able to find a forward with a pinpoint long ball  behind the over-committed Taieri defence, and the win was secured.

Taieri was able to score a consolation goal through Louise Nicolson from a penalty corner at full time. Nicole Strawbridge and Larissa Peyroux were the other scorers for Momona.

In the other matches, City remained unbeaten with a 4-0 win over University A, and Kings United was able to beat Uni B 2-1.

- Matthew West

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