Otago, Canty get together to fill void

The Otago and Canterbury associations were not content to let the season slip by without any representative hockey so they have organised their own competition.

Covid-19 squashed what was planned but the inaugural Mainland Cup will fill a portion of the void.

It will be contested between Otago and Canterbury at the McMillan Hockey Centre this weekend and will involve eight teams.

Each province will field a senior women’s and men’s side and two under-18 teams.

The sides will play each other once on Saturday and Sunday, so eight games in total.

The association which registers the most wins across the series will claim the bragging rights.

Otago Hockey pathways manager Hymie Gill will coach the Otago men’s team but is providing a large helping hand with the other three sides.

He will be sideline for all games.

"The associations have done really well to get this competition off the ground," Gill said.

"It has not been easy but it is hopefully something that we repeat next year and in the years to come. It is really exciting."

Gill feels optimistic about the prospects for the under-18 boys and the men’s side, but the under-18 girls and women’s sides face a daunting challenge.

"We’ve got a fair few King’s boys in the under-18 group and they have done pretty well ... so the expectations are high.

"For the girls, I think Canterbury is going to send down a pretty good side so the expectations are not as high. But I guess this is a starting point for Otago Hockey to show Canterbury and other associations that we mean business, so we’ll give it our best shot.

"For the senior men’s team it is the same thing in terms of sending a message to Canterbury and I have high expectations."

Mainland Cup

Otago U18 men v Canterbury U18 men, 11am 
Otago U18 women v Canterbury U18 women, 12.30pm
Otago women v Canterbury women, 2pm
Otago men v Canterbury men, 3.30pm
Otago U18 women v Canterbury U18 women, 9am
Otago U18 men v Canterbury U18 men, 10.30am
Otago women v Canterbury women, 10.30am
Otago men v Canterbury men, noon

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