Hampstead charges home

Hampstead defenders pack the goalmouth as Timaru Girls’ High School sets for a corner in their game at the Ashburton Hockey Turf on Saturday.

Mid Canterbury’s senior women’s hockey teams started the season in the best way possible, when Hampstead beat Timaru Girls’ High School 7-3 and Hampstead/Collegians beat Craighead 2-1.

Hampstead coach Rex Turnbull said it was a good first outing against the Timaru schoolgirls, especially as only four of the players on the turf yesterday had returned from 2017.

The newcomers were players making their way back to the sport after a break, graduating from school teams or moving back to the district to play.

Turnbull said his side was up 2-1 at halftime after the schoolgirls found the back of the net as time was running out.

Five goals in the second half simply overwhelmed the visitors.

He said the game was a test of fitness and new combinations, with many players showing their versatility by playing in new positions.

“But that is hockey now.

“You have defence and attack but ultimately you need to be doing the same thing.”

He said there was some great passing into the circle as well as players running into space.

While the commanding victory was a great way to start the season, Hampstead would be looking to perform consistently and make sure it was in the top four come semi-final time.

The Hampstead/Collegians girls travelled to Timaru to take on Craighead at Aoraki Turf, eventually coming away with the 2-1 win.

The other two teams in the grade are Cambridge and Geraldine.

The senior men’s competition also got under way at the weekend, with Mid Canterbury’s only team Wakanui having the bye.

Both competitions will run through to August, with a finals day scheduled for August 25.