As the top four women’s teams of 2018 went head to head, close and exciting matches were expected, but they were anything but. Out at Rangiora, Jenna-Rae McIntyre got Carlton Redcliffs off to a phenomenal start, scoring after 30 seconds and following up with her second two minutes later. The goals continued to flow, as Redcliffs rammed home a further four before halftime, with HSOB/Burnside pulling one back in the progress. Carlton continued to dominate and a further three second half goals saw them take the victory 9-2, and another successful Challenge Shield defence.
In the second match up, Marist continued to keep pace with Redcliffs at the top of the table with another dominant performance, this time against defending champions Harewood. Jessie Anderson, back on the pitch after an early season injury, got Harewood on the board first with a well taken field goal, before the girls in green took over. Marist equalised from a penalty corner late in the first quarter, before taking the lead in the second to head into halftime ahead 2-1. Three unanswered second half goals put the result beyond doubt and gives Marist their best ever start to the league since their introduction in 2015.
The men’s match between Harewood and Marist saw a repeat of the 2018 final, and it sure didn’t disappoint. Player/coach Matt Ling gave Harewood the lead as he converted an early penalty stroke, and they stretched the lead through fellow 30 plus veteran Garren Fyfe not too long after. Marist were able to claw themselves back into the match, scoring twice to equalise before the end of the third quarter, with George Connell registering his first goal as a new dad. Canterbury Cavalier Gus Wakeling grabbed the match winner for Harewood with six minutes remaining to gain a valuable three points for the defending champions.
The Avon Women continued their hot run of form to consolidate third spot on the table with a strong 4-0 victory over Southern United. Anna Wetherall showed why she could be one of the signings of the year with a double, while Sarah Walcott and Bella Forbes also found the back of the net to keep the Eels within touching distance of the top two.
Southern United will enjoy the Easter Eggs a whole lot more this week as they kept their perfect record to sit top of the men’s standings and their grip on the Challenge Shield. Avon took the lead early in the match throug Levi Barrow, before Hugh Hendrickson surprised many to find the back of the net and level the scores. Ryan Cosgrove then put Southern United ahead in the second quarter, the final scoring of the match. The fireworks continued in the second half however, with several cards to both teams and a missed penalty stroke to Rob Buhler showcasing the intensity of a shield challenge.
HSOB/Burnside and Carlton Redcliffs couldn’t be seperated in the late game at Rangiora, a 2-2 score line seeing the teams draw their third consecutive match over the past 12 months, with Redcliffs keeping the Norton Cup which is played for on each occasion. University were able to pick up their first win of the season, a solid 3-1 victory over Hornby pushing them into fifth on the ladder.
Men’s Results:Harewood 3-2 Marist Southern United 2-1 AvonCarlton Redcliffs 2-2 HSOB/Burnside University 3-1 Hornby
Women’s Results:Marist 5-1 HarewoodAvon 4-0 Southern United Carlton Redcliffs 9-1 HSOB/Burnside