LEAVE the gumboots at home but pack some good-gripping boots. That is the advice for hockey players as they prepare to get back into action on the dampened fields of Harry Barker Reserve.
YMP A and Gisborne Girls’ High School start the much-anticipated premier women’s round in what is to be expected to be one of the games of the day. Last time they met, YMP A overcame a spirited Girls’ High side 4-2.
Since that encounter, both sides have grown in stature and will look to take three vital points before the semifinals late in August.
YMP have the depth in defence so Girls’ High will have to attack down both wings and use their fitness to try to wear down YMP.
GMC will want to keep their unbeaten record intact when they face Paikea. GMC won the first-round meeting 3-0. Their key attacking players, Emily Willock and Shannon Williams, will need to be tightly marked.
Paikea have had a change at the helm. Coach Andy Church has headed overseas and left the side in the safe hands of former YMP playmaker Hanoa Morete.
A senior women’s title with the Electrinet Chargers a few years ago was Morete’s last coaching feat. She will aim to motivate the women in pink to cause an upset.
Te Aowera face Ngatapa in the first of the top-four senior games in a division that looks like being among the closest in years.
Last time these teams clashed, Te Aowera scored a late goal for a 1-0 victory.
Both sides will be keen to get the early advantage as a top-two finish gives an extra life in the semifinals.
Jenny Baty in goal will be the key player for Te Aowera.
GMC Gold have shown they are among the sides to watch. They play High School Old Girls tomorrow.
It’s been three months since their last clash and on that occasion they fought out a 2-2 draw.
Key players for HSOG will be Jess Duncan and Mel Hill. If they are given space inside the circle, they could make GMC Gold pay.
The Gold side have experience to burn, from back to front, and will call on all of it to get the vital three points.
Kia Toa will go in as slight favourites against Waituhi. Last time they met, about a month ago, Kia Toa won 3-2.
Kia Toa captain Emma Rutherford has played many games against Waituhi and will know they can never be taken for granted.
Expect a close match that could easily be locked up at fulltime.
Eastland Traders Lytton Old Boys will look to maintain their top spot and unbeaten run when they face Gisborne Boys’ High School in the top men’s game of the weekend.
The Traders beat the students 8-4 in the first round. Boys’ High exerted pressure in the first 35 minutes of that clash and will look to go the full 70 minutes this time round.
Boys’ High have started to find the right combination where it counts in the past few weeks. Nevertheless, fullbacks Ayden Olsen and Logan Candy will want extra help to contain the best attacking side in the men’s competition.
Caledonia and LOB Prems take centre stage and if their last clash is anything to go by, this could be one of the closest clashes in the men’s games this weekend.
The 1-1 draw in round one could be repeated as both sides are looking to jump up the table as the leading bottom-four side.
Waituhi will look to stay inside the top four if they can manage to overcome the fight of LOB Masters.
Waituhi will go into the match as favourites after a 5-1 victory last time the sides met.
However, the Masters will be boosted by the return of Rock ’n’ Roll guru Dale Porou, who could be asked to put in the extra work for the games he has missed though dance training sessions.
Expect a rampant Waituhi side to go for a solid run into the top four.
YMP A clash with clubmates YMP B in what could be best described as a totally one-sided affair.
YMP B have had plenty of players on the sidelines, which is the opposite of the A side’s start to the season.
The biggest question is whether the B side keep the A side to single figures.