Cities through to hockey final

A GOAL in each half was enough for Cities to earn a spot in this week’s grand final, while Arrows-Athletics women put five through Raiders to also progress to the season highlight.

Melanie Stehbens was the hero for Arrows, scoring a hat-trick, while Aimee Hargraves and Mandi Beaumont also scored in their 5-3 defeat of Raiders.

They opened the scoring almost immediately and were never headed by Raiders, despite them doing enough to keep things interesting.

It means they will again face Cities in this Saturday’s decider.

All Blacks men did their best to throw Cities off their game, retreating in defence and forcing the Premier League champions to reassess their own plan of attack.

The plan worked to an extent, but when Cities lapsed All Blacks were not able to land the killer blow.

The blue and white had the bulk of the opportunities and, after a string of near misses, finally got on the board through a well-directed Brody Latham flick late in the first half.

Another goal came courtesy of a short corner mid-way through the second half and the game opened up from then on.

The win was far from graceful, but its physical nature was what you would expect from a semi-final.

The minor premiers will play Rovers this Saturday night for a chance to defend their 2009 premiership and secure the Premier League-BHA double in the club’s 75th year.

Meanwhile, All Blacks were cruelly knocked out of the division two premiership race by Rovers on Friday night.

Scores were level at full-time and drop-offs were used to decide the victor. With teams reduced to five players each Rovers finally scored the winner to see them into the final against Cities.

A goal to Tarina Larsen was all Raiders needed to defeat Arrows-Athletics and progress to the final of the division two women’s title.

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