Tainui ran out of steam in its opening game of the season but player-coach Jared Ovens is optimistic the future is positive.
A 4-1 loss to Cambridge in Oamaru last Saturday was an early gauge of how much the Oamaru hockey club needs to improve if it is to challenge for the South Canterbury men’s title.
Tainui started well, trailing just 1-0 at halftime.
“We played our best hockey in the first half,” Ovens said.
“We had a simple structure going and created a lot of opportunities. We had five or six penalty corners but couldn’t convert.”
Tainui equalised through Jim Keown but Cambridge dominated the last 20 minutes of the game.
“It was possibly a lack of match fitness,” Ovens said.
“We lost our structure and made some poor decisions, and they capitalised on our mistakes.
“Our young boys all did pretty well, but we’ve got a lot of new combinations to sort out. We learned a lot and we will get better.”
In the other game, Temuka beat Northern Hearts 6-5.
Tainui has the bye this weekend.
The club’s second division side also suffered a 4-1 loss, to Timaru Boys’ High School.
It could be a tough season for the Tainui seconds, who have lost seven players from last year.
Lance Sheehy scored the only goal, while promising goalkeeper Sarah McIntosh put up a valiant effort.