Mid­lands women get on the board

Waikato Times - - SPORT - AN­DREW VOERMAN

The Mid­lands women have bounced back from their open­ing day loss to get on the board in the Na­tional Hockey League in Welling­ton.

A Natasha Fitzsi­mons hat­trick - two from penalty cor­ners and one from a penalty stroke - was joined by a goal from Gemma McCaw to ease them past the Cen­tral My­sticks 4-1 yes­ter­day.

Cen­tral equalised to­wards the end of the first quar­ter, through Holly Pearson, af­ter Fitzsi­mons had given Mid­lands the lead in the open­ing minute, but once McCaw took the lead back to­wards the end of the sec­ond quar­ter, Mid­lands ran away with the game.

The win came a day af­ter they had lost 3-2 to North­land in their opener at the Na­tional Hockey Sta­dium, where goals from McCaw and Shiloh Gloyn had given them a 2-1 lead early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

North­land hit back be­fore half­time, how­ever, then snatched a win­ner through Stacey Michelsen with four

min­utes to play.

Mid­lands now face North Har­bour in their fi­nal pool match at 3pm to­mor­row, where they will be look­ing for a win to se­cure a high seed ahead of the quar­ter­fi­nals on Thurs­day, which will fea­ture all the eight teams.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Mid­lands men be­gan their cam­paign on Satur­day with a 2-1 loss to the South­ern Dogs. Andy Hay­ward’s penalty cor­ner goal in the sec­ond minute was can­celled out al­most im­me­di­ately, by Nathan Gil­bert, and Nick Ross then scored the win­ner for South­ern, five min­utes af­ter half­time.

The men’s cam­paign con­tin­ues to­day, when they play Cap­i­tal at 7pm.

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