Slow starts to tournament for Southern sides

Canterbury player William Duston (left) is closely marked by Southern player James Nicolson...
Canterbury player William Duston (left) is closely marked by Southern player James Nicolson during their game in the national under-18 hockey tournament in Dunedin yesterday. Canterbury player Tim Sheed is at rear. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
The chances of the Southern boys team repeating the success of the 2005 side are looking slim after the first two days of the national under-18 tournament in Dunedin.

When the tournament was played in the city in 2005, the host team - then known as Otago - came out on top, winning the final 3-1 over Auckland.

But the boys side has not got off to the greatest of starts.

It started on Sunday with a 3-3 draw against Capital before losing 4-2 in the shoot-out.

Yesterday, the side took on Canterbury and made a good start, Finn Ward scoring off a penalty corner in the opening quarter.

But that was as good as it got for the home side as Canterbury went on the attack and was up 3-1 at the break. It eventually ran out a 5-1 winner.

In the girls tournament, also at the McMillan Centre, the Southern girls side also had a fight on its hands against Auckland, eventually going down 4-2.

It lost its first game on Sunday 8-0 to Central, which looms as a serious contender.

Auckland scored first in the opening quarter but Southern quickly equalised through a penalty corner by Taylor Duffy.

Auckland, though, did not sit on its heels and scored three more goals going into the last quarter.

The Southern side though had the final say with a penalty corner goal from Ellie Duncan.

In action today, Southern takes on Capital in the girls tournament while the Southern boys side will face up to Midlands.

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