Tainui: `We’re still a major threat’

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Tainui A is steaming into form just in time.
The Oamaru hockey club beat South Canterbury first division leader Cambridge 5-3 in Timaru on Saturday in the penultimate round of the regular season.
It gave a timely shot of confidence to Tainui ahead of the playoffs next weekend.
“It was one of our best games of the season, so we were pretty happy,” player-coach Jared Ovens said.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction at the business end of the season.
“If we play like we did on Saturday, we’re still a major threat at winning the whole thing.”
Tainui’s form has been mixed this season but Ovens said the team never doubted its ability.
“We lost a bit of momentum in the middle stages of the year. We had people away on holiday, and we were never at full strength.
“Now we’re really starting to click again.”
Tainui will now play Wakanui Blue, which is below Tainui on the table but has notched up two wins and a draw from the teams’ three meetings this year, on consecutive weekends, firstly in a redundant regular season game and then in the 3rd v 4th playoff game.
“They’re our bogey team. They are very similar to us and we’ve always had close games but they seem to get the best of us.
“It’s a bit of a dead rubber but we’re not treating it like that.”
Tainui spread the scoring in the win over Cambridge. Ovens, Shaun Cunningham, Nick Dalziel, Josh Dalziel and Jim Keown all found the net.
It was 1-1 at halftime but Tainui stepped up the pressure in the second half and leaped to a 5-1 lead before conceding two late goals.
In the second division, Tainui B and the Waitaki Boys’ High School battled to a 2-2 draw. Richard Gaby grabbed a brace for Tainui B, while Andrew Searle and Cameron Gilmore scored for the school team.
In a midweek game last week, Ryan Mackay and Lance Sheehy scored the goals for Tainui B in a 3-2 loss to Timaru Boys’ High School.
Riley Chandler (five) and Polly Harper (three) struck goal-scoring form for the St Kevin’s College First XI in a 10-1 win over Waitaki Girls’ High School Development in the North Otago senior mixed competition.
Ellie-May Sandri (four) and Jody Robinson (three) led the scoring splurge as Shamrocks beat St Kevin’s Development 10-0, while Jordon Cunningham smashed in four goals and Mikayla Scarlet three to lead the Waitaki Girls’ First XI to a 9-2 win over Pirata Black.
Keenan Bridger scored twice for Pirata Blue in its win over the Waitaki First XI, and Aitiria Cooney grabbed a double to guide Pirata Blue to a 5-0 win over the St Kevin’s First XI.