It had more twists and turns than a hostile garden hose but when more than 100 minutes of play had elapsed and penalty kicks taken, Napier Boys’ High School were left gushing as the Super 8 soccer champions in Hastings today.
“We did it, we did it!” an ecstatic NBHS player screamed as a sea of blue shirts engulfed him before the schoolboys erupted into wild celebrations at the Hastings Boys High School ground after they were tied 1-1 in 80 minutes of fulltime, extra 10 minutes each way before pipping defending champions Hamilton Boys High School 3-2 in the penalty shootout.
The boys from Hamilton cut forlorn figures, some teary-eyed as they trudged off the field dejectedly with coach Aaron Scott trying to console them.
Yes, it came down to a lottery but fortune favours the brave.
“It’s the second time we’ve won it,” said NBHS team manager Pete McGlashan snr, who has been involved with the code at the school in coaching and organisational capacity for almost 40 years.
He was putting right the claim of current coach Marty Akers that NBHS were seeking a maiden crown since the tourney kicked off soon after the turn of the century.
A grinning McGlashan said that when NBHS won their first title, in 2008, HBHS again were the hosts.
“We’ve been on that tail end of some not-so-good finishes in the tournament,” he said, recalling how Hamilton BHS had knocked them out of the semi-finals in a penalty shootout in a national tourney in 2008.
“A lot of our boys in this team have been second in futsal in the past couple of years so they didn’t want to be second again and were really positive about getting a big win.”
While it was a cruel way for a teams to win and lose, McGlashan emphasised the Campbell Hantler-captained champions practised penalty kicks after most trainings because it was the nature of the beast in tourneys.
The tourney’s top scorer was Alexander Elliot from Tauranga Boys’ College with eight goals. The official of the tournament was Jason Marshall.
7 v 8: Rotorua BHS: 2 v Hastings BHS: 1
5 v 6: Gisborne BHS: 1 v New Plymouth BHS: 1 (New Plymouth won on penalties)
3 v 4: Tauranga BC: 8 v Palmerston North BHS: 1
Thanks: Dean Hulls, Hawke’s Bay Today
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