Queenstown’s senior women’s hockey side has taken on their upcoming semi-final opponent three times this season – without success.
So why is Queenstown coach Ewan Maxwell talking up their prospects ahead of the knock-out clash against top-ranked Alexandra Waratahs in Cromwell on Saturday?
“We came good at the end of last season and are starting to get really solid now.
“I think we’ve got every chance and I have every confidence that we’ve improved enough and have had a consistency of players during the last couple of weeks,” Maxwell says.
That’s despite a 9-1 hammering from Alexandra earlier in the season and a 3-1 loss against them last week.
The only solace for the Queenstowners against Alexandra this season has been a draw.
Maxwell says his team was “well down on our best players” for the 9-1 drubbing – one had a broken finger, another had work commitments and a third couldn’t make the match.
During the 3-1 loss last week, Maxwell says his side probably had more shots at goal – which was encouraging.
The teams traded a field goal each, and Alexandra also scored from two penalty corners.
“They played well but I think we were a little bit unlucky we didn’t score some more points,” Maxwell says.
As for semi-final preparation, he isn’t giving much away but says he’ll be telling his side to adopt a positive attacking mentality.
“Our game plan is not hanging on to the ball and doing too much dribbling but playing as a team.
“We’re going to concentrate on doing some things differently – which I’m not going to tell you.”
Queenstown will take on Alexandra at 2.15pm, followed by the other semi-final between Cromwell and Maniototo at 3.35pm – also in Cromwell.
Last season Queenstown came third, losing 1-0 in its semi to eventual champions Upper Clutha.