The Canterbury Hockey Premier League hits week three tomorrow afternoon, with the final set of matches before the teams take a week off to enjoy the Easter festivities.
The Women’s competition sees all of the 2018 top four going head to head in an early exchange that could paint the picture for this season’s standings. First up out at Rangiora, Carlton Redcliffs will look to defend the Challenge Shield and their top of the table position against HSOB/Burnside, the very team they took the shield off back in July of last year. Old Boys will be reeling from their first up defeat to Marist, and head into the match as slight underdogs and with a point to prove. In the other match, defending champions Harewood have their work cut out for them going up against Marist, who have started the season with a perfect two from two record. Harewood come off the bye, and after a scoreless draw to open their season, will need to be at their best to stop the high flying ‘Mermaids’ and get themselves heading North on the points table.
The Men’s battle between Harewood and Marist see’s an early repeat of the 2018 final. With both teams heavily favoured to be at the top again in 2019, many were surprised to see both teams drop points in the early weeks. Tomorrow’s match won’t necessarily be season defining but expect both teams to treat it like it is.
Carlton Redcliffs are in unfamiliar territory sitting at the bottom of the men’s table, and things don’t get any easier as they take on HSOB/Burnside for the Norton Cup. Both sides have four representatives in the Canterbury U21 Men’s side, but they will also need the more experienced players to step up in a match that is always a tight encounter.
Top of the table and flying out of the blocks, Southern United Men will fancy their chances against Avon, also unbeaten after the first two games. With the Challenge Shield on the line, a victory to either side will see the hot cross buns enjoyed a little more than usual come next week.
University and Hornby battle off in the men’s match that gives both an opportunity to gain their first victory of the season. Both teams held leads late into their matches last week, but could only take away a solitary point. With this match last played as the wooden spoon match of 2018, a win for either side could suggest an upward rise in 2019.
Avon meet Southern United in the final women’s match, with Avon starting to click as a unit after a busy off-season on the transfer market. Southern United have also been active, and with new Canterbury U21 goalkeeper Natalie Austin starting the season well, they are becoming hard to break down at the defensive end.
|1.15pm||Harewood||Marist||Nga Puna Wai 1|
|1.30pm||Southern United||Avon||Nga Puna Wai 2|
|4.30pm||Carlton Redcliffs||HSOB/Burnside||Waimakiriri Turf|
|12.00pm||Carlton Redcliffs||HSOB/Burnside||Waimakiriri Turf|
|2.45pm||Marist||Harewood||Nga Puna Wai 1|
|3.00pm||Avon||Southern United||Nga Puna Wai 2|
Image: Geoff Soper