CENTRAL and Old Canberrans both moved another game clear of the rest of the field in the Men's Capital League with wins at the National Hockey Centre yesterday, Checks jumping into top spot on goal differential.
St Patricks played Central first up on Carter Field and despite missing six starting players at the under-21 nationals, put in a good performance in a 2-1 defeat, narrowly missing an equaliser from a penalty corner in the dying minutes.
Central's narrow win left top spot open for the taking for Old Canberrans, an opportunity they grabbed.
Checks took a 3-0 lead into half-time against United and held on for a 4-1 victory.
United captain-coach Aaron Hopkins put the loss down to poor execution of basic skills
''We weren't clinical enough,'' Hopkins said.
''They took their chances and scored, we just weren't strong enough in our front half, we had our chances, we just didn't score.''
The loss put the top teams four matches clear and possibly out of reach.
''The top two are starting to really sneak away from us, and that's a game the Checks will really value come the end of the season knowing they've probably got a [top two] spot now,'' Hopkins said.
In the final game, Wests scored two goals in the first three minutes which ultimately proved the difference in the 4-2 win over ANU.
The students quickly pegged one back, but Wests added two more before the break to put the game out of reach.
Captain-coach Angus Allan took positives out of an improved second-half performance.
''Credit to our guys, we played pretty well in the second half,'' Allan said.
''We actually played quite well as a team, we've been able to do that on occasion, but we just haven't been able to put it together for a whole game.''