Final game ‘slip-up’ drops Eastern to fourth

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Stick work. . . Eastern centre half Rob Dickie looks for his passing options in a game against Invercargill in the Ian Smith Tournament held in Gore in the weekend. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Eastern Southland men’s hockey team faded in the last game to finish fourth in the Ian Smith Tournament at the weekend.

The annual tournament, which has been going for about 60 years, is contested by teams from Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, North Otago, Central Otago, Eastern and Invercargill.

North Otago won the tournament.

Eastern player-coach Rob Dickie said his team would have finished second had it won its last game on Monday.

However, the Invercargill team was too good and won 4-0.

“We should have finished stronger than we did.

“It only took one slip-up and then you find yourself at fourth instead of second.

“The long weekend catches up on you.”

In its other games the team had a 2-2 draw with Mid Canterbury, was beaten 8-0 by North Otago, beat Central Otago 1-0 and South Canterbury 4-2.

“The whole tournament was pretty close except for North Otago who were probably a bit better than everybody else,” Dickie said.

Eastern striker Ethan Friend (16) was chosen as the young player of the tournament.

“He’s just getting better and better every year.

“He’s just fit and runs.”

Dickie and back Andrew Moore were named in the team of the tournament.

Liam McFaulon, the inside right, also had a good tournament.