Tainui has not fired many shots this season but player-coach Jared Ovens says it is not time to wave the white flag just yet.
The Oamaru club suffered another heavy defeat, 8-1 at the hands of Cambridge, in a South Canterbury premier men’s hockey game in Timaru on Saturday.
That left Tainui with a record of one win and five losses and mired at the bottom of the table alongside fellow struggler akanui.
“I definitely thought we’d be doing a it better, but this is the way things go sometimes,” Ovens said.
“We’ve still got plenty to play for. You only need to get fourth to make the finals, and we’ll keep battling away and try to stick with the leading teams.”
Tainui, through a Shaun Cunningham goal, trailed just 3-1 at halftime on Saturday, but was powerless to stop Cambridge firing in five unanswered goals in the second half.
“We actually played quite well in the first half. We stuck with them and created some chances,” Ovens said.
“In the second half, fitness was an issue, I think. Having a couple of weeks off after the Ian Smith Trophy might have cost us, and yet again we didn’t have our full-strength team, which makes things hard.
“We haven’t been able to get our combinations really going, and some of us probably just aren’t at top form.”
Tainui is at home to Temuka this weekend.
The club’s reserve team is faring better in the second division.
Tainui B sits third with a record of five wins in eight games, and posted a good 6-1 win over Geraldine in Oamaru on Sunday.
Ryan Mackay led the charge with four goals, and Ryan Stringer and Cameron Hill also found the net.
Deon Bridger fired in five goals and son Keenan added two to lead Pirata Blue to a 10-2 win over Pirata Black in a North Otago senior mixed game on Friday night.
Bradley Jones scored a hat trick for Waitaki Boys’ High School in its 6-1 win over Shamrock StK, Amber Cunningham did the same for the St Kevin’s College First XI in an 8-0 win over Waitaki Girls’ High School Development, and an Anna Scott double led the Waitaki Girls’ First XI to a 5-1 win over the St Kevin’s First XI.