By JULIA DAIA BORE
YOUTH, agility, speed and persistence to score by the NCD women’s younger hockey team, earned them the gold medal over an equally-determined Central outfit led by near-veteran Vagi Boga in yesterday’s hockey women’s finals in the PNG Games at the University Oval.
The two teams ran onto the field at 11am yesterday, determined to win the gold. As the minutes advanced, so did their tempo and aggression with Boga leading her Central girls the forward line and applying much pressure on the opposing younger NCD players led by captain Tiani Tapo.
Boga made several attempts to get past and into the goal mouth area, but the solid-back outfit in Ruby Kisapai and Louisa Magalu for the NCD team denied her attempts.
Tapo, Hipak Kiapen and Julie Alau in the mid-field, coolly and evenly distributed the balls to their forward pack and aggressively assisted in applying pressure into the Central opponents’ ‘D’ circle.
But the opponents’ backline led by Rosie Gerari were equally persistent in keeping the ball out of their goal mouth.
The first goal was scored 10 minutes before half time when a pass from Alau found Sefarna Bore’s stick, only two metres from the goalmouth, to slowly roll the ball past the goalie for NCD to lead 1-0.
Soon after that, an obstruction in the ‘D’ of the Central side had NCD take a short corner which the Central defenders blocked out and passed to Boga who drove the ball the full length of the field to NCD’s 16-yard territory.
However, Ruby Kisapai quickly cleared the ball to NCD’s relief.
In the second half, Central striking power, Boga, returned to the backline to assist Gerari and the other backs defend the continuous onslaught from the younger NCD pack.
Attempts by Central’s forward line to get past the NCD backline proved futile as the NCD women did not leave an opening for their co-hosts until the final whistle to claim gold.
In the third place playoffs Morobe defeated Manus to claim bronze in an earlier match.
In the men’s division, Team Morobe claimed gold after defeating NCD 1-0 while Central claimed bronze after defeating Manus 1-0.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop and his wife, Jean, handed out the medals to the after the finals were played yesterday.