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Spotlight on the men

LOB-YMP clash could be one of best

HOCKEY

THE spotlight falls on the men’s competition for the game of the round in Gisborne club hockey this weekend.

Lytton Old Boys NZ Fruits play YMP A at 2pm on Saturday in a rerun of a clash touted as the men’s game of the year to date last time these teams met.

The Fruits won that match three weeks ago but Saturday’s encounter may be a different story.

“I think YMP will be out for redemption and possibly all the pressure will go on the Fruits,” hockey commentator Tony Scragg said.

“It was so close last time, and YMP will be determined to set the record straight.”

The weekend’s play gets under way at 6.30pm tonight when women’s B Grade teams Waituhi and GMC Kowhai meet in a game that could go either way.

“Waituhi will go in as slight favourites after their recent wins against Kowhai, but Kowhai will be bolstered by their recent 5-0 win against Te Aowera,” Scragg said.

“Kowhai had no issues scoring goals in that game and will take that mindset into tonight’s match.”

Only one match will be played tomorrow night, between Paikea and Te Aowera at 6pm, and Paikea should win.

“They will try to keep themselves undefeated in the B Grade,” Scragg said.

“They are building momentum before the semifinals and will not want to let that slip.”

LOB Masters and YMP B start the ball rolling in Saturday’s programme of games from 12.30pm on the Hain Farming Turf at Harry Barker Reserve.

“Last time they met, YMP B came from behind after the Masters had led 3-1,” Scragg said.

“So can the Masters get a lead and keep it?

“Well, they’ll certainly have that in their minds and will try hard to do it.

“But YMP B will be out to beat them again. It will be a good game.”

YMP and Amber Dental Gisborne Girls’ High School meet in A Grade women’s competition at 3.30pm on Saturday.

“YMP will try to bounce back from their recent draw with GMC Green, and will want to pick up three competition points to ensure they have a second life in the semifinals,” Scragg said.

“Given it’s the school holidays, I’m not sure about player availability for the school team.”

Ngatapa and GMC Green complete the weekend’s competition at 5pm on Saturday in another A Grade women’s game that could produce an outstanding match.

“It was 3-2 to the Green Machine last time after Ngatapa had the early lead,” Scragg said.

If Ngatapa got an early lead again, they could hold on to win, but they’d need to be at their best, he said.

“GMC will be lifted by their draw against YMP, so they will go in with plenty of confidence, and will make it tough for Ngatapa to get an early lead.”

CONTESTED: Gisborne Girls’ High School’s Jayha Egan (left) and GMC Green’s Charlie Brown contest possession in women’s hockey on the turf at Harry Barker Reserve. Girls’ High play YMP, and GMC Green play Ngatapa on Saturday. Picture by Paul Rickard