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Weekend’s hockey round begins

THE hockey spotlight falls on the match between Paikea and GMC Green in a two-versus-three contest in the women's competition this weekend.

Both teams have a lot to play for.

The clash between the two YMP men's teams tonight will also excite a lot of interest as the weekend's hockey round begins.

Attempts to divide the YMP men into two teams of roughly equal strength will be put to the test.

“It should be a very different story to the result in the first round when the teams were not as evenly divided as they are now,” hockey commentator Tony Scragg said.

“I'm picking it will be a close and tightly fought game. The numbers 1 and 2 on the team sheets will not mean a thing.

“It's too close to call.”

The Saturday programme begins at 12 midday tomorrow, when Amber Dental Gisborne Girls' High School play GMC Gold.

“Girls High will look to bounce back from their one-goal loss to Ngatapa last weekend,” Scragg said.

“A victory would keep the students in the hunt for a top-four finish.”

The men use the turf again next when Gisborne Boys' High School take on Lytton Old Boys NZ Fruits at 1.30pm.

“Boys' High are due for a win, but the Fruits showed in last weekend's victory over one of the YMP teams that this will not be an easy game for the students,” Scragg said.

“It was close last time between them, but I think the students may have to wait another week for a win.”

Ngatapa and Waituhi play at 3pm.

“That's a tantalising prospect for both teams,” Scragg said.

“Waituhi have had their moments this season already, and Ngatapa will be fresh from their win last weekend.

“This could be another contender for game of the weekend. It'll be close and hard-fought.”

In what should be the game of the round, Paikea and the Green Machine take the turf at 4.30pm.

“Both teams are after the No.2 spot on the table,” Scragg said.

“A win moves GMC Green into second spot, and a win for Paikea cements their place in second and in the top four.

“I think it will be a one- or two-goal affair.

“Let's see what game Paikea bring tomorrow. If they bring their top game, they'll be contenders.”

The final match of the weekend, at 6pm, has unbeaten YMP in action against GMC Kowhai.

“It's likely to be one-way traffic with all the traffic coming from the YMP end of the turf,” Scragg said.

“They will be difficult to handle. If Kowhai can keep the scoreline under 10 goals, they will have done very well.”

One on one: Sean Gooch of YMP (2) tries to get the ball off Gisborne Boys' High School's William Matthews (right) in senior hockey on the turf at Harry Barker Reserve. The two YMP men's teams clash tonight in a game that will be a test of how evenly balanced the teams are. Picture by Paul Rickard