Direct route beckons

YMP aim to bounce back against GMC Green

YMP aim to bounce back against GMC Green

SHARP WORK: YMP player Nancy-Rae Tarawa (left) tries to stop the progress of GMC Green’s Jade Stacey in local women’s club hockey on the turf at Harry Barker Reserve. The winners of a clash between these teams on Saturday will go straight to the A Grade final. Picture by Paul Rickard

GMC Green or YMP A will advance straight to the grand final of the women’s A Grade hockey competition after their match this weekend.

Based on past results, the Green Machine have an edge.

Their semifinal on the LJ Hooker turf at Harry Barker Reserve at 5.15pm on Saturday should be a humdinger.

“This is a game everyone has been waiting for over the past few weeks,” hockey commentator Tony Scragg said.

“Can YMP bounce back from that 7-1 loss to GMC Green the last time they played?

“That big win has probably made things harder for GMC because so many expect them to advance to the final.

“But YMP will make them work for it, and cannot be discounted, because playoffs hockey is about who turns up on the day.”

In the sudden-death A Grade women’s semifinal, Amber Dental Gisborne Girls’ High School and JNL Paikea will fight for the right to live on in the playoffs.

“It was a draw last time they played each other, so this will be close,” Scragg said.

He feels Girls’ High have a slight advantage after the way they played against YMP A last weekend.

“To hold them to 1-1 for a fair chunk of the match was outstanding, and shows the character in that Girls’ High team.

“I would not be surprised to see it go down to a shootout.”

Poverty Bay Hockey decided on Monday night to allow YMP A and THC to both advance to the men’s A Grade grand final without further matches.

Neither team will play this weekend.

“There is a clear-cut difference between second-placed THC and third-placed Lytton Old Boys NZ Fruits in the men’s competition,” Scragg said.

“I feel the decision to set up a YMP-THC grand final showdown was the right one.”

Among the other men’s teams, LOB NZ Fruits will play YMP B and the winners will go through to the men’s B Grade final.

“LOB NZ Fruits have shown in the past month that they have turned the corner,” Scragg said.

“I would expect a solid NZ Fruits side to push hard for a place in that final.”

In the sudden-death match, Gisborne Boys’ High School will take on LOB Masters. The winnerd play the losers of the Fruits-YMP B match.

“Boys’ High have had the better of the Masters this season,” Scragg said.

“It’s a replay of last year’s B Grade men’s final and I expect Boys’ High, after their Super 8 campaign this week, to have another life in the playoffs.”

The women’s B Grade teams get first use of the turf this weekend. The GMC Gold-GMC Kowhai game will start the programme at 6pm tomorrow night.

“A good game is in prospect for sure,” Scragg said.

“I think Gold will go in as favourites. If you had asked me at the start of the season, I would not have said that, but Gold have been playing so well.”

At 7.30pm, YMP B play Roseland Tavern Te Aowera.

“That’s a sudden-death affair, so the losers are gone for the season and the winners will play the losers of the Gold-Kowhai clash.

The confidence of Te Aowera will have been boosted by their fine showing against Gold last weekend and their draw with Kowhai before that.

“Te Aowera must be in with a chance,” Scragg said.

“This will be an exciting weekend for hockey fans.”

GMC Green or YMP A will advance straight to the grand final of the women’s A Grade hockey competition after their match this weekend.

Based on past results, the Green Machine have an edge.

Their semifinal on the LJ Hooker turf at Harry Barker Reserve at 5.15pm on Saturday should be a humdinger.

“This is a game everyone has been waiting for over the past few weeks,” hockey commentator Tony Scragg said.

“Can YMP bounce back from that 7-1 loss to GMC Green the last time they played?

“That big win has probably made things harder for GMC because so many expect them to advance to the final.

“But YMP will make them work for it, and cannot be discounted, because playoffs hockey is about who turns up on the day.”

In the sudden-death A Grade women’s semifinal, Amber Dental Gisborne Girls’ High School and JNL Paikea will fight for the right to live on in the playoffs.

“It was a draw last time they played each other, so this will be close,” Scragg said.

He feels Girls’ High have a slight advantage after the way they played against YMP A last weekend.

“To hold them to 1-1 for a fair chunk of the match was outstanding, and shows the character in that Girls’ High team.

“I would not be surprised to see it go down to a shootout.”

Poverty Bay Hockey decided on Monday night to allow YMP A and THC to both advance to the men’s A Grade grand final without further matches.

Neither team will play this weekend.

“There is a clear-cut difference between second-placed THC and third-placed Lytton Old Boys NZ Fruits in the men’s competition,” Scragg said.

“I feel the decision to set up a YMP-THC grand final showdown was the right one.”

Among the other men’s teams, LOB NZ Fruits will play YMP B and the winners will go through to the men’s B Grade final.

“LOB NZ Fruits have shown in the past month that they have turned the corner,” Scragg said.

“I would expect a solid NZ Fruits side to push hard for a place in that final.”

In the sudden-death match, Gisborne Boys’ High School will take on LOB Masters. The winnerd play the losers of the Fruits-YMP B match.

“Boys’ High have had the better of the Masters this season,” Scragg said.

“It’s a replay of last year’s B Grade men’s final and I expect Boys’ High, after their Super 8 campaign this week, to have another life in the playoffs.”

The women’s B Grade teams get first use of the turf this weekend. The GMC Gold-GMC Kowhai game will start the programme at 6pm tomorrow night.

“A good game is in prospect for sure,” Scragg said.

“I think Gold will go in as favourites. If you had asked me at the start of the season, I would not have said that, but Gold have been playing so well.”

At 7.30pm, YMP B play Roseland Tavern Te Aowera.

“That’s a sudden-death affair, so the losers are gone for the season and the winners will play the losers of the Gold-Kowhai clash.

The confidence of Te Aowera will have been boosted by their fine showing against Gold last weekend and their draw with Kowhai before that.

“Te Aowera must be in with a chance,” Scragg said.

“This will be an exciting weekend for hockey fans.”

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