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Close games likely in women’s competition


THE female component of the weekend hockey draw has “close call” written all over it.

All four women’s matches are likely to be tight affairs in the most even-looking round so far this season.

The pick of them will be the game between YMP A and GMC Green at 5.15pm on Saturday. Both sides are unbeaten.

“It promises to be a classic, a real slugfest, between those teams,” hockey commentator Tony Scragg said.

“I am picking the winner will be scored in the last quarter.

“Both sides get really good sideline support, which is a credit to them, so the atmosphere should be great.”

The weekend play opens tomorrow night with the match-up between Ben Holden Fencing Ngatapa and Amber Dental Gisborne Girls’ High School on the LJ Hooker turf at 6pm.

“That should be a close contest, too.

“Ngatapa have beaten the students in the past few years, but now is the time for the students to set a standard for where they want to be in the competition.

“That involves beating Ngatapa.”

GMC Gold go into their clash with Te Aowera at 7.30pm tomorrow night as favourites, but TA will make a game of it.

Given the way they have battled this season, it will be a game TA can win.

“TA are due a win and they normally get one or two somewhere in the season,” Scragg said.

“It could happen tomorrow night.”

The other women’s match of the weekend will be that between JNL Paikea and GMC Kowhai at 1.45pm on Saturday. That is a change from the time printed in the draws page yesterday.

“Paikea will bounce back from last weekend’s loss to YMP A, and should start as slight favourites,” Scragg said.

“But this will be a good indicator of where the middle teams sit in the women’s competition.”

The senior men’s matches start at midday on Saturday. Gisborne Boys’ High School will fancy their chances against a struggling Lytton Old Boys NZ Fruits.

“Boys’ High should come away with the win,” Scragg said.

“But the Fruits know they have been underperforming and should lift for this one.”

THC were to play LOB Masters at 1.45pm, but the Masters defaulted because they didn’t have enough players.

At 3.30pm, YMP B play the unbeaten and unthreatened YMP A.

“That will be a goal fest in favour of the top YMP team,” Scragg said.

Points — Men: YMP A 15; THC 12; LOB Masters and Boys’ High 7; YMP B 3; LOB NZ Fruits 0.

Women: YMP A 12; GMC Green, Ngatapa and Girls’ High 9; Paikea, GMC Kowhai and TA 6; GMC Gold 3; YMP B 0.

REACHING IN: Gisborne Girls’ High School’s Madison Savage (left) tries to keep the ball away from Morgan Tuhou of YMP A in local women’s hockey this month. Girls’ High play Ngatapa tomorrow night and YMP play GMC Green at 5.15pm on Saturday.Picture by Liam Clayton