Ward’s season ended by hand fracture in Central match

Finn Ward
Finn Ward
Southern Dogs striker Finn Ward’s debut National Hockey League campaign has been cut painfully short.

The 17-year-old King’s High School pupil fractured a bone in his hand during the 3-0 loss to Central in Wellington on Saturday.

He picked up the injury during the first quarter and will miss the rest of the tournament.

Ward was used sparingly in the opening game against Canterbury in Dunedin earlier this month. But he managed to slap in a lovely goal and looks a player with a bright future.

His immediate future, though, will include some rehabilitation.

Coach Clive Daniels said Ward would be replaced.

"We are looking at another player ... but we are just waiting to hear from [Hockey New Zealand]," Daniels said.

The 3-0 loss was not as bad as it sounded. The Dogs trailed by a goal with 10 minutes remaining, but slipped further behind.

They had pushed forward in search of an equaliser, and that provided Central with some counter-attacking opportunities. Dylan Thomas scored two goals — the second in the last minute of the game.

"It was a 1-0 game going into the last quarter and pretty even. But they just took chances and we didn’t," he said.

"We are still having a bit of a struggle [in front of goal] and that is something we need to work on.

"But apart from that the boys are still playing really competitively."

Daniels said his side needed to pick up points in its match against North Harbour today and against Auckland tomorrow, otherwise a place in the top four will have slipped away.

"They’re two big games and we have to get points out of those. That is really important if we want to make the top four."

The Storm played two games during the weekend and lost both fixtures, leaving the team winless after three rounds.

Central’s Sulette Damons banged in a goal with nine minutes remaining to clinch a 1-0 win for her side yesterday.

On Saturday, the Storm kept Northland scoreless in the first half. But Anna Alexander’s goal in the 40th minute was the inspiration Northland needed to pot a few more.

Three minutes later Anna Cooper found the back of the net to help her side take a 2-0 lead into the final quarter. Alexander slotted  her second goal four minutes from the end to complete a 4-0 win.

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