Dapto takes some stick but hockey fight goes on

University's Flynn Ogilvie sweeps past a rival against Wests. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

University's Flynn Ogilvie sweeps past a rival against Wests. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

HOCKEY

It's a daunting task meeting the competition's top team.

Even more so when they're the team that beat you 21-1 just over a week earlier or that you've only won a handful of matches against in the past few years.

That's never been an issue for Dapto coach Tom Persson ahead of his side's clash with Illawarra hockey heavyweights University.

Despite loss after loss, the competition's cellar-dwellers plugged away as they built towards bridging the gap between their rivals.

"We are in a rebuilding phase. It is really all about trying to get our fundamentals, and some structure, in play," Persson said.

"We are training two nights a week and the guys are all turning up, so I am happy with that."

While not the competition's strongest suitor, Dapto's presence in Illawarra first grade is all the more vital after Fairy Meadow's demise.

Their season has, by no means, been easy ... the club has not managed a win in eight games.

Last Friday's 21-1 loss was followed by a 7-0 defeat at the hands of the competition's other powerhouse, Albion Park.

"I was proud of guys on Sunday [against Albion Park]. I thought they turned around Friday night's performance really, really well," Persson said.

"They backed up - admittedly with only two players out - with a much better effort."

With the season not halfway over, Persson holds an outside hope of picking up some competition points.

"We would love to be able to get one or two wins before the end of the season but it is not [going to be] easy," Persson said.

"Even the Mittagongs and Robertsons are pretty strong."

The two Southern Highlands clubs faced off in what could prove a vital clash in terms of top-four prospects on Sunday with Robertson winning 2-1, courtesy of goals to Damian Gair and Nathan Wright.

The win closed the gap on Wests, who were humbled 8-0 by the Students.

In the Illawarra women's competition, University kept their unbeaten record intact with a 2-2 draw with Avondale while Fairy Meadow defeated Figtree Unanderra 5-2.

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