Anything can happen come finals time, North Otago Hockey Association president Jared Ovens says.
That could well also be the case for the hockey semifinals tomorrow, after the two top teams were thrown a curve ball.
Top qualifiers Waitaki Boys’ High School will play fourth-placed Pirata Blue for a spot in next weekend’s final.
However, several Waitaki Boys’ players will be away for the weekend with other school commitments.
Second-seed Shamrocks will played Pirata White, but both teams are not used to playing Saturday games, having traditionally played on Friday nights this year.
It could make for a “very interesting” weekend of hockey, Ovens said.
“It’s semifinals, so whoever turns up on the day will take the spoils, really.”
Shamrocks and Pirata White played each other last week, Pirata gaining bragging rights with a 2-1 win.
It was one of the toughest and most fast-paced games in the competition this year, Ovens said.
“If it’s anything like last weekend … there’s going to be some tired, tired bodies.”
While Waitaki Boys’ and Shamrocks had led the competition all season, both teams were still “beatable”.
It had been a very “strong and even” hockey season, and there was not a lot between the teams, he said.
Representative hockey also returned to the turf in Oamaru last weekend.
The North Otago men’s team was boosted by some Central Otago players for last weekend’s mini-tournament.
North Otago went down 3-0 to Canterbury A, but Ovens said it was a good performance against a very slick Canterbury team.
Teams from Southland also competed in Oamaru.
Players from North Otago and Central Otago will be joined by several other Otago players for the National Hockey Championship next month.
The team will compete as “Otago Country”.
While the wider team was yet to be announced, Ovens expected about five North Otago players to be involved.