We’ll be back, Tainui coach vows


Tainui will carry the sting of defeat through the summer and aim to use it as motivation to win the South Canterbury premier men’s hockey title in 2017.
The Oamaru club fell short again when it was beaten 2-1 by bogey team Wakanui Blue in a playoff game last Saturday.
“I don’t know what it is about Wakanui Blue,” Tainui player-coach Jared Ovens said.
“Any other team, we can handle. But we just weren’t good enough against those guys.”
Wakanui Blue opened the scoring with a field goal before Tainui veteran Richard Knight levelled the scores from a penalty corner.
A potential go-ahead Tainui goal was overturned, and Wakanui Blue scored the game winner from a penalty corner with just 30sec left on the clock.
Tainui made the final last year, so was seeded second going into this year’s competition.
Ovens said it was disappointing to stumble at the crunch end of the season but he was confident the club could return with a vengeance next year.
“This was probably the best team we’ve had in a long time, and we thought we were good enough to go all the way.
“We changed a couple of our strategies from last year. Whether they worked or not, I guess we have to sit down next year and look at whether we should go back to what we were doing.
“Everyone in the team is still really striving to win this thing. I’m pretty sure everyone will be back next year, and we’ll also look for another one or two guys to bolster the team a bit.”
All that is left for Tainui this year is the plate final this weekend against defending champion Wakanui Black, which won the league five years in a row before suffering this season following some high-profile departures.
“At least we get a chance to bring some silverware home. It’s just not the one we wanted.”
Pirata Blue capped a wonderful unbeaten season with a 5-2 win over long-standing rival Shamrocks in the North Otago senior mixed final on Saturday.
Keenan Bridger and Shane Emerson each grabbed a brace for Pirata Blue, and Camille Keoghan completed the scoring for the champion side.
In other games, the St Kevin’s College First XI beat the Waitaki Girls’ High School First XI 6-1, and Pirata Black beat SKC Development 5-0.
The North Otago under-13 girls team made the most of home advantage in a mini tournament in Oamaru on Sunday.
North Otago beat Eastern 2-0 and Otago 2-0.trace affiliate linkGirls Air Jordan