Tuataras’ winning streak upheld

Baxter Meder looks to pass the ball during the Taieri Tuataras’ match against University Whales...
Baxter Meder looks to pass the ball during the Taieri Tuataras’ match against University Whales as Lars Dalley follows the play. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Taieri Tuataras have kept up their unbeaten start to the season coasting past the University Whales 6-0 in their latest Challenge Shield defence.

The Tuataras started the game on the front foot, and eventually made the Whales pay after a slick fast break on Saturday.

Hugh Nixon made the initial save, but it fell for Thomas Meder at the top of the circle. With the whole game to aim at, the young midfielder made no mistake to net a rare goal.

Taieri remained in command, but some good saves from Nixon kept it at 1-0 heading into quarter time.

The pressure told quickly after the break, as the Whales were caught on the counter again, rendering Nixon powerless. He made the first save, but the ball fell to Solomon Baldock who slotted home from close range.

Despite clinging on bravely, at no stage did the Whales really look like getting back into the game.

James Nicolson rifled home a dragflick shortly after halftime to make it three, and that really was game over.

The floodgates opened in the final six minutes, as Taieri stalwart Matthew West got the thinnest of deflections to make it 4-0, before Hanlin Johnstone got in on the act to make it 5-0.

Taieri were not done there either, as Nicolson put a second dragflick past Nixon on fulltime in a statement performance from the competition front-runners if there ever was one.

Elsewhere, Albany reminded everyone why they are the grade’s entertainers, as Jack Cotton continued his strong return from injury by bagging two in the Alligators 6-0 triumph over the Southland Barbarians.

It took just seven seconds for the under-20 striker to fire home his first, which is surely a record by quite some way.

In the other premier men’s game, the University Panthers were powerless to resist a ruthless King’s United side, going down 9-1, as South Canterbury midfielder Jack O’Neill grabbed his first hat-trick for the side.

In the premier women’s competition, things were much closer.

Momona’s mid-season stumbles continued, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited King’s United side.

They did at least grab the extra competition point by winning the shootout, but they will have been disappointed not to collect maximum points.

The Taieri Tigers’ resurgence continued, as they made it two wins on the trot by stunning the University Huskies 2-1.

Against the second-placed side, they defended really stoutly, with it at 1-1 going into the final 30 seconds.

A miscommunication at the back saw the Huskies gift away a penalty corner, and boy did the Tigers make them pay.

With everyone forward, Otago Sparks wicketkeeper Polly Inglis gathered a slightly errant drag, before belting it towards the goal, which gave the keeper no chance, sending her side into raptures.

In the day’s final game, the City Highlanders were in cruise control, as they thrashed the University Stingrays 9-0.

By Nicholas Friedlander