St. Paul's Collegiate eliminated Wellington College with a tense 2-1 win. A controversial goal to Richard Bloor with about five minutes remaining was the telling difference. Arthur Rasmussen retrieved a long ball and accelerated into the circle. His shot was saved by Wellington keeper Sam Dearsly, but the rebound hit an unmarked Bloor in the upper chest region and settled onto his stick with an open goal ahead. Quite why the goal was allowed is a mystery given the ball is not typically allowed to touch any part of the body?
Earlier Dearsly had pulled off three spectacular saves to keep Wellington level. Maks Waydham-Smith had a thumping reverse-stick drive punched away. Rasmussen was denied by a diving Dearsly with no other defenders in sight and Reuben Andrews had a penalty corner shot blocked.
Andrews was a pivotal figure for St. Paul's. The captain was a steady presence on defence in the back third of the pitch and his piercing passes engineered several promising attacks. Fittingly he opened the scoring after about 20 minutes from a penalty corner.
Kailin Dayal was busy for Wellington College, but they created few chances to score in the first-half.
Early in the second-half Dearsly was forced to smother another Rasmussen assault on goal. Wellington's Devanand Bhikha started to find space on the flanks and a 30-metre surge earned a penalty corner. Marco Brown scored and it was 1-1.
Wellington captain Tim Schulpen and St Paul's Garrick Du Toit were outstanding for their respective teams.
St. Paul's had more circle entries and the better record prior, but the match might be better remembered for the head of Bloor.
An extra time goal by Captain Matt Cummins propelled St. Andrew's College into the semi-finals at the expense of Whangarei Boys’ High School.
On the siren in regulation, St. Andrew's keeper Balthazar Ruscose was forced to parry away a Whangarei penalty stroke headed towards goal.
The nine on nine period in extra time was a stalemate, but the deadlock was finally broken when each side was reduced to seven players.
Cummins muscled into the Whangarei circle and unleashed a reverse-stick shot. The ball was partially checked by a Whangarei defender, but had enough velocity to dribble into the vacant goal.
Cummins was the first to strike for St. Andrew's after five minutes, but Whangarei equalised in the second-half when Luke Trigg deflected in a penalty corner.
Whangarei keeper William Stainton made a number of outstanding saves to keep his side in it. Midway through the second-half there was a series of three kick saves in less than 30 seconds.
Zac Litchfield and Hamish McKechnie were always threatening for Whangarei, Joseph Yoon was particularly was resolute in defence for St. Andrew's.
In the other quarter-finals Rangitoto College beat King's High School 2-0 and Wairarapa College eliminated Christchurch Boys' High School 2-0.
In tomorrow's semi-finals, Rangitoto College tackles St Paul's Collegiate and St. Andrew's College faces Wairarapa College.
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