Meatloaf famously sang, “two out of three ain’t bad”, and that was the good news for the local hockey fraternity when rep teams from Marlborough and Nelson met in Blenheim recently.
The women’s A team retained the Ken Beech Cup with a 5-1 victory while the women’s B team claimed the Wyn Robinson Cup with a 5-0 scoreline.
The Marlborough men lost 3-2 in a see-sawing encounter for the McCarthy Cup.
In the women’s A game, Marlborough started slowly but got on the scoreboard towards the end of the first quarter when Tanya Hawley scored through a direct shot after a penalty corner. Goalkeeper Grace Davies played a crucial role in this quarter, pulling off several important saves.
In the second quarter Marlborough moved the ball better and creating some great attacking chances, Emma Allison scoring their second after another PC.
The home side began the third quarter in similar fashion, passing the ball well from the back through to their speedy strikers and were rewarded when Mackenzie Hanrahan put the final pass into goal for their third.
Nelson replied with a goal late in the quarter, but Marlborough had the final say, Ruby Smith being rewarded on debut with a goal, then Hanrahan bagging her second after assistance from Pip Lunn to wrap up a convincing victory.
Player of the match was Jo Jones.
Coaches Denise Lloyd and Andrew McCaa were pleased with the rep side’s first hit-out and look forward to their next fixture, the Pope Shield at the end of the month in Westport.
Marlborough women’s A team: Abby Scott (captain), Pip Lunn, Tanya Hawley, Jo Jones, Sara Stocker, Celia Watson, Sylvie Heard, Emma Allison, MacKenzie Hanrahan, Alice Roughan, Kate Morrow, Ella Williams, Grace Davies, Ruby Smith and Siaan Grieg.
The men’s game, also their first hit-out of the season, was “played by both teams at pace and with more intensity than structure” according to coach Paul Jones.
Marlborough found themselves 1-0 up at quarter time and 2-0 at halftime, Liam Geddes and Aiden Neal having converted the opportunities they created off two penalty corners.
This was a big turnaround from recent seasons when Marlborough often ended up chasing the game, noted Jones.
Nelson pulled back a goal in the third quarter as they lifted their game and the home side began to neglect their marking duties.
Marlborough kept attacking but turnovers up front and in midfield meant they were left defending for most of the final quarter. Under most pressure was Marlborough keeper Travis Brydon, named player of the match, and his fellow defenders who spent most of the final stanza repelling penalty corners.
Eventually the pressure told as Nelson landed two late goals to take the honours.
Both teams used this game as a build up for the annual Matai Cup in Buller later in the season with some key players to be added to both teams for the upcoming tournament.
Nelson’s goal scorers were Pat O’Connor-Lea (2) and Toby Bowden.