Lack of fitness costs Tainui

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Coaches often say the score does not reflect the game, but Jared Ovens is adamant that was the case with Tainui’s loss to Cambridge in the South Canterbury premier men’s hockey clash at the weekend.

Tainui was beaten 6-2 by the defending champion in a Sunday night game at the Oamaru turf.

Player-coach Ovens scored the opening goal for Tainui but Cambridge took a 2-1 lead by halftime and added a third goal straight after the break.

Tainui’s Nick Dalziel brought it back to 3-2 before Cambridge rattled in three goals in the final 10 minutes.

“We played pretty well for 50 minutes,” Ovens said.

“It was a fast-paced game and we probably lacked the fitness to keep up with them. They just kept running and running.”

Tainui was also affected by injury woes.

Dalziel, a key cog in the team, collided with the Cambridge goalkeeper in the act of scoring his goal and had to leave with suspected concussion.

Tom Wouters was also forced off the field after injuring his hand.

Tainui hosts early competition favourite Temuka, led by former Black Sticks drag flick specialist Hayden Shaw, this weekend.

“They have a fair idea how we play and we don’t knowso much about them,” Ovens said.

“But we really need to stop them getting PCs (penalty corners) so Hayden Shaw doesn’t have a chance.”

Tainui B struggled to finish and fell to a 1-0 loss to Cambridge F Troop in the second division game at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the North Otago senior mixed competition got under way.

Keenan Bridger scored a hat trick to lead Pirata Blue to a 4-0 win over Waitaki Boys’ High School, Ray Simpson got the only goal for Shamrocks-St Kevin’s in the combined team’s 1-0 win over St Kevin’s College, and the Waitaki Girls’ First XI beat Waitaki Girls’ Development 10-0.

In the South Canterbury competition, the Roncalli First XI beat St Kevin’s Development 3-0.