Hockey: Whanganui vs Marton HC

07 May 2019

Travis Bayler looks to open up the Marton defenders in the first half.

Whanganui's Travis Bayler looks to open up the Marton defenders in the first half of their 4-3 win over Marton HC in the Hockey Manawatu Premier Reserve Men's game at Gonville on Saturday.
PHOTO / Lewis Gardner

The Whanganui team was doing just fine against Premier Women's top side at the Twin Turfs on Saturday, until the home team just sent the ball to their legend and said "save us".

Whanganui lost 4-2 in their second Hockey Manawatu match against College A, having been deadlocked 2-2 with them right through half time and three quarter time.

"It's not as bad as the score seems," said player-coach Colleen Baylis.

"It was 2-2 for a long period of time, and then they scored two goals in the last four minutes, courtesy of Kayla Sharland."

Now married to George Whitelock, the former All Black and Crusader, Kayla Whitelock, nee Sharland, is the former Black Sticks skipper who played 213 games for New Zealand – attending four Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games and two World Cups.

She was NZ Hockey's player of the year in 2012 and internationally was part of the FIH's All-Star Team in 2010.

"Some of the players didn't know who Kayla was, which is good," said Baylis.

"She was frustrated with her team, so we must have been doing something right.

"They pushed her up the front, I knew they were going to do it but just couldn't stop her.

"That's what they did against High School Hockey Club last week as well, when they were down 1-0 and she scored."

Whanganui's first goal came from Sophie Redmayne, and then when trailing 2-1, they scored an outstanding breakaway goal after cutting off College's penalty corner attempt.

Margy Hazelhurst snatched the ball and sent a perfect pass forward to Redmayne, who linked with Jane Abraham to score the equaliser.

The two late goals kept College unbeaten with two wins and a draw so far, while Whanganui will take on the likewise unbeaten HSHC this coming Saturday at 2pm on the Twin Turfs, before finally getting their first home game with Massey Premiers the following weekend.

In the Men's Premier Reserve, the first derby game at Gonville Domain in this division saw Whanganui get up 4-3 over Marton HC.

Whanganui had the better of the early exchanges, with one deflected shot over the top of the goal being one of only two big chances for Marton in the opening quarter.

Tyler Nicholls, Travis Bayler, Josh McDonnell and others were looking to push forward.

Looking to play at speed up front, Whanganui managed to bring the Marton keeper out a couple of times, despite senior player Chad Warner having to come off as his hamstring was still not right following a recent NZ Defence Force game.

Whanganui missed a penalty shot, but then a long strike took a deflection of a nearby attacker to shoot into the goal away from the keeper.

The forwards set up another chance and this time it was a deflection off the keeper fell to an attacker waiting on the corner post to make it 2-0 just before the quartertime break.

Whanganui wanted to double their score in the second quarter, but instead were only leading 2-1 come halftime.

Calum Wilbur tried a flick shot, which was saved, while Marton began to find some openings down the far right wing to make some breakaways to approach the goal mouth.

After a penalty corner, Marton fed the ball to Korron Death, who made a nice chip shot above the Whanganui keeper to pull within a goal.

Whanganui and Marton then traded two goals each in the second half, which meant the home side is now the only unbeaten team remaining in their six team grade.

Marton fell back to third on points differential to College B, with both teams heading south to the Twin Turfs this Saturday.

Whanganui face Massey Reserves at 12.15pm, and Marton face College B at 7pm.

By Jared Smith
Whanganui Chronicle 7/5/19