TUDOR West affirmed its position at the top of the Tamworth men’s standings and ascended to the top of the Northern Hockey Premier League table with a 4-2 win over Kiwi Diggers in Tamworth on Sunday.
It was a see-sawing tussle, with Tudors scoring three unanswered goals to overturn a 2-1 half-time deficit.
Coach Sam Lobsey played a big hand in the win and topped the scoring with three.
“We put it together a bit more in the second half,” he said.
“The first half we were doing the right things with our build-up but our decision-making let us down in the first half.”
It was the simple elements like trapping that were letting them down, and their mistakes led to opportunities for Kiwis.
“We recognised that at half-time,” Lobsey said.
“We didn’t want to change anything, just execute the basics better.”
They did and were able to put Kiwis under a bit of pressure.
He thought they were possibly a bit cocky after last week’s 7-1 win over Services Workies.
That showed in the first half.
The pleasing thing was they were able to reassess at half-time and play a lot better in the second half.
Jake Sheppeard was their best.
“He did a lot of work off the ball in defence, putting pressure on and trying to stop the quick Kiwis guys,” Lobsey said.
Kiwis do have a few quick guys.
Mitch Salter and Lachlan Skinner also had good games backing up from second grade, as did keeper Aiden Cameron again.
“He made some crucial saves to keep that buffer for us,” Lobsey said.
Kiwis were ruing missed opportunities.
“We had three or four good opportunities in the first five minutes (of the second half) which we didn’t capitalise on,” coach Greg Doolan said.
Mainly through poor skill execution in the circle.
Tudors then ran down and scored the equaliser.
It deflated them and they lost their way a bit after that.
“We didn’t compete, didn’t match it with their aggression and strength on the ball and they ran over the top of us,” Doolan said.
He thought some of their early play in the second half was good.
“They’re a very structured organised team and put the ball carrier under a lot of pressure,” he said.
“We struggled with that in the first half.”
The second half they moved the ball better.
“But we stopped working, which made it even harder for the ball carrier,” he said.
He thought they defended fairly well, with Martin Courtney good in the net.