Booking a ticket to the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is the main goal for New Zealand at this month’s Oceania qualifiers in Samoa but coach Leon Birnie would like to see far more from his players than simply justifying their favouritism for the regional crown.
Birnie’s side will take on Tahiti, New Caledonia and Samoa in Group A of the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Apia from Saturday and each player will be making their international debuts – some had never even been on a plane before jetting over the Pacific Ocean yesterday.
“It’s the first time they’ll be putting on the badge and with that comes its own unique challenges and pressures,” says Birnie, who has plenty of experience to draw upon after coaching the U-20 national team in the previous cycle.
“All players adapt to that differently so it’s our job as a staff to make sure we support them with whatever they require based on how they adapt. Leading into this, we’ve had a short preparation but the time we’ve had has been of good quality. I’m excited to see what these girls can do over there.”
Securing a spot on the global stage is the minimum requirement and Birnie is taking a far broader approach, focused mainly on individual development.
“The number one thing is to make sure we qualify and, if we put good performances on, then hopefully we’ll do that. But there will be a lot of stuff we do off the field as well to try to grow these players and get them out of their comfort zones as much as we can,” he says.
“We want to challenge them, not only on the field but off it as well. We’ll do a lot of individual work with the players and really highlight their strengths and the areas they need to work on to really help them move forward. That’s what the focus of the campaign will be.”
The aim is to produce players who can go on to star for the senior Football Ferns, who are now placed 20th in the world and are looking for an injection of even more quality over the coming years to climb the rankings further.
“In the last part of our campaign leading up to the qualifiers, there were a few players who really made it clear they are ones for the future,” Birnie says.
“I’ve only worked with them for a limited period so far but, from what I’ve seen, it’s a high-quality and exciting group. As a whole team, we look exciting going forward and that’s an area which has been highlighted that can help the Football Ferns in the future.”
While New Zealand are heavily favoured to emerge on top, Birnie is not taking any opposition lightly and is expecting his side to be tested, particularly when it comes to breaching a well-structured defensive unit.
“Some of these teams set up a bit deeper and make it quite challenging to break them down,” he says.
“But that’s really good for us and gives us some real problems to work through. It could be quite different to what the players have experience before and their job will be to try to work through that. There will be challenges and it’s up to us to support the players as they work through them,” he adds.
“The girls are all really excited and so are the staff – we’re all ready to go.”
Please find attached audio from an interview with New Zealand U-16 women’s coach Leon Birnie.
OFC U-16 Women’s Championship – Qualifiers for 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
(J.S. Blatter Football Complex, Apia)
Tahiti vs New Zealand
Saturday 5 August, 4pm (NZT)
New Zealand vs New Caledonia
Tuesday 8 August, 1pm (NZT)
New Zealand vs Samoa
Saturday 12 August, 4pm (NZT)
Tuesday 15 August
Friday 18 August
New Zealand: 1. Georgia Candy (GK), 2. Shannon Trebes, 3. Anneka Mittendorff, 4. Hannah Mackay-Wright, 5. Amy Waters, 6. Grace Wisnewski, 7. Kelli Brown, 8. Maya Hahn, 9. Margot Ramsay, 10. Maggie Jenkins, 11. Arabella Maynard, 12. Macey Fraser, 13. Rylee Godbold (GK), 14. Mackenzie Barry, 15. Gabrielle Rennie, 16. Jayda Stewart, 17. Aniela Jensen, 18. Britney Cunningham-Lee
Head Coach: Leon Birnie
Assistant Coaches: Alana Gunn, Emma Evans, Mike De Bono
Team Manager: Ashleigh Cox
Physiotherapists: Janina Aricheta, Hannah Dawson
International Teams Coordinator: Angelina Lee–Hussien
New Zealand coach Leon Birnie has named an exciting squad to contest the OFC U-16 Championship in Samoa next month.
The tournament, which will be staged from 4 – 25 August, is the first step for many of the national squad competing in international football as they look to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Uruguay which will be held in November – December next year.
The OFC U-17 Women’s Championship has changed to the OFC U-16 Championship in 2017 to better align with the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the following year.
Birnie, who earlier this year changed roles with NZ U-20 coach Gareth Turnbull to take the New Zealand U-17s, said his coaching team have gone through a robust selection process. They staged observational games across all seven federations, held training camps and time at the NTC’s before a final camp here in Auckland to complete the selection process.
“The selection process has been tough,” said Birnie. “There is a huge amount of depth within this group and we have had to have some difficult conversations, but we are excited with the squad we have selected and the challenge ahead.”
New Zealand is the most successful team in the history of the championship which was first introduced in 2010. They have won all three titles in that time and last year defeated Papua New Guinea 8-0 in the final to book their place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Jordan.
New Zealand has enjoyed good success on the world stage in recent years with both the New Zealand U-17s (5-0 win over Jordan) and New Zealand U-20s (1-0 win over Ghana) achieving the goal of winning on the world stage. The age grade OFC Championships and FIFA World Cups are an important stepping stone.
“The ultimate goal is to create future Football Ferns and I am confident that we have the quality in this squad that in time they have the ability to go on and represent the Ferns. This tournament is another step in their development and a chance to show their ability.”
New Zealand will open their campaign against Samoa in Group A and then will meet New Caledonia, Tahiti and Tonga as they look to qualify for the semi-finals. Birnie knows his team will be favourites to claim the title.
“I don’t think it matters too much who you are playing there are going to be huge challenges when you are playing international football,” he said. “For many of these girls it is the first time that they will pull on the New Zealand shirt and that comes with its own pressures and challenges.
“It is a long time away in Samoa and playing in the islands always present unique challenges. So as a support staff it is important that we create a stable and supportive environment where the girls can perform at their best. I am sure they will do well.”
Birnie said he is enjoying his new role with the NZ U-17s and is excited to take a talented group of girls to a big tournament and continue their development.
“I just love coaching football whether that is with the U-17s or the U-20s I don’t really mind. We have a great group of girls to work with here. They have all been working hard and they are pretty excited to represent New Zealand at this tournament and hopefully qualify for the World Cup.”
New Zealand U-16 team to contest the OFC U-16 Championship
Georgia Candy, Hamilton Wanderers
Rylee Godbold, Claudelands Rovers
Aneka Mittendorff, Forrest Hill Milford
Amy Waters, Eastern Suburbs
Hannah Mackay-Wright, Glenfield Rovers
Shannon Trebes, Hamilton Wanderers
Mackenzie Barry, New Plymouth Girls High School
Macey Fraser, Waimakariri United
Margaret Jenkins, Wellington United
Margot Ramsay, Western Springs
Maya Hahn, Wellington United
Aniela Jensen, Palmerston North Marist
Arabella Maynard, Forrest Hill Milford
Jayda Stewart, FC Twenty 11
Gabrielle Rennie, Waimakariri United
Kelli Brown, Claudelands Rovers
Britney Cunningham-Lee, Hamilton Wanderers
Grace Wisnewski, Hamilton Wanderers
OFC U-16 Championship
When: 4 – 25 August
What: Qualifying Event for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Uruguay
Defending champions: New Zealand
Favourites New Zealand have begun their campaign at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in dominant fashion by going on the goal rampage against Papua New Guinea, outclassing the Melanesians 12-0 in the tournament’s opening match at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland.
Hannah Blake got the scoring underway and went on to lead the assault with a four-goal haul while Dayna Stevens struck a second-half hat-trick on her debut appearance for New Zealand and two other players, Sam Tawharu and Emma Main, helped themselves to braces. The only Kiwi scorer not to find the net more than once was Jacqui Hand as Gareth Turnbull’s side sent a message of intent to the five other teams, who are all bidding to earn a place at the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The home nation appear well-equipped to get there after putting on a scintillating display of attacking football in sunny but chilly conditions in Auckland’s eastern suburbs.
Papua New Guinea deserve plenty of credit for defending doggedly throughout and using their physicality to good effect but the class of New Zealand proved too much to contain and the result did not look in doubt from the moment Blake had her first after a quarter of an hour.
New Zealand had dominated the early possession and already carved out several opportunities before Blake made one count, smashing in a loose ball after a corner. The hosts continued to control proceedings but had to wait until the half-hour mark to double their advantage, Tawharu prodding home a cut back from the pacey Main.
It looked like that’s how it would stay as the half ticked into additional time but New Zealand somehow managed to add two more strikes before the sides went into the sheds, Hand tapping in from close range before Blake smashed in off the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
Despite their dominance and a four-goal lead, Turnbull was not entirely satisfied with his side’s efforts and his words of wisdom at the break had the desired effect as New Zealand stepped their performance up in the second period.
Stevens came on for her maiden appearance and made an immediate impact, rounding off a Tawharu cut back in the 49thminute. It was 6-0 to New Zealand just a few moments later as Main got in behind the tiring Papua New Guinea defence and finished with aplomb for a goal that her earlier efforts had richly deserved. She had completed a double by the 63rd minute as Sarah Morton turned provider with a well-placed low cross to the near post.
With his side now seven goals to the good and threatening to run rampant, Turnbull made a double change as Rebecca Lake and Grace Jale made way for Serena Murrihy and Nicole Mettam respectively. The change in personnel did not result in any let up from New Zealand though, Stevens claiming a rapid-fire hat-trick with two more accomplished finishes in the 66th and 76th minutes.
Blake made sure Stevens wouldn’t be the only hat-trick heroine by putting New Zealand into double figures from a Mettam pass in the 84th minute and added her fourth for good measure soon after. Papua New Guinea were now praying for the final whistle to come as quickly as possible but suffered further pain with the last kick of the game, Tawharu being tripped in the box and tucking home the resulting penalty deep into additional time.
Turnbull was pleased to have witnessed such a ruthless display in the second half after an opening period in which he felt New Zealand were far from their best.
“I thought we were below the standards we set ourselves and the main part of that was the final act in our execution,” he said.
“But, credit to the girls, we spoke honestly at half-time and I thought the intent in the second half was improved, which led to the executions improving as well. So I was pleased with the scoreline but not overly pleased with how we performed over the 90 minutes,” he added.
“But it’s a development opportunity and a real positive for us is that we gave debuts to two players and one of them got on the end of three good team work goals to get herself a hat-trick.”
Next for New Zealand is Fiji on Friday and Turnbull is expecting a similar sort of challenge.
“We’ll sit back and watch Fiji later today but, again, it will be a very physical team who will probably make space at a premium for us so we’ll just focus on what we do and shift the ball quickly. We’ll look to play positively and get people into good scenarios for them to then be unselfish or bring to life their x-factor.”
New Zealand 12 (Hannah Blake 16’, 45’ + 3’, 84’, 87’, Sam Tawharu 31’, 90’ + 5’, Jacqui Hand 45’ + 1’, Dayna Stevens 49’, 66’, 76’, Emma Main 51’, 64’)
Papua New Guinea 0
New Zealand: 1. Anna Leat (GK), 2. Saskia Vosper, 3. Rebecca Lake (20. Serena Murrihy 65’), 4. Elizabeth Anton, 5. Sarah Morton, 6. Grace Jale (16. Nicole Mettam 65’), 7. Emma Main, 8. Malia Steinmetz (c), 9. Sam Tawharu, 10. Hannah Blake, 11. Jacqui Hand (19. Deven Jackson 46’)
Substitutes not used: 13. Nadia Olla (GK), 14. Claudia Bunge, 15. Michaela Foster, 17. Dayna Stevens
Coach: Gareth Turnbull
OFC U-19 Women’s Championship Draw
(Ngahue Reserve, Auckland)
Friday 14 July, 10am
vs New Caledonia
Monday 17 July, 12.30pm
Friday 21 July, 10am
Monday 24 July, 10am
The OFC U-19 Women’s Championship starts at Auckland’s Ngahue Reserve from tomorrow, with the New Zealand team taking on Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia and Samoa in games this week.
The New Zealand team, featuring many current and recent secondary school players is:
1. Anna Leat (GK)
2. Saskia Vosper
3. Rebecca Lake
4. Elizabeth Anton
5. Sarah Morton
6. Grace Jale
7. Emma Main
8. Malia Steinmetz
9. Sam Tawharu
10. Hannah Blake
11. Jacqui Hand
12. Emma Clarke
13. Nadia Olla (GK)
14. Claudia Bunge
15. Michaela Foster
16. Nicole Mettam
17. Dayna Stevens
18. ‘Alosi Bloomfield
19. Deven Jackson
20. Serena Murrihy
The New Zealand squad has suffered a blow on the eve of the tournament with attacking midfielder Lily Bray being ruled out due to serious injury – the second such setback after Football Fern Paige Satchell also had to withdraw from the campaign several weeks ago.
“We’re gutted for Lily, says coach Gareth Turnbull, “she’s worked really hard over the last nine months after missing out on the squad for the U17 World Cup. We really feel for her after working so hard on her game.”
Bray has been replaced by defender Serena Murrihy as the finishing touches are put on New Zealand’s preparations for the opening game, a meeting with Papua New Guinea on Tuesday at 10am.
The Melanesians are expected to be the Kiwis’ toughest challengers on their path to the World Cup and Turnbull is pleased to be meeting them first up.
“I think it’s a great start to the tournament,” he says.
“Based on paper, past history and experiences, PNG will most likely cause us the most amount of problems. Having them first means we can start off with a really clear mind set and approach. Hopefully, we can perform really well and come away with the win – that will then set us up for the rest of the tournament.”
OFC U-19 Women’s Championship
(Ngahue Reserve, Auckland)
vs Papua New Guinea
Tuesday 11 July, 10am
Friday 14 July, 10am
vs New Caledonia
Monday 17 July, 12.30pm
Friday 21 July, 10am
Monday 24 July, 10am
“You’re not having a very good day mate,” quipped Napier Boys’ High School goal keeper Daniel Robinson to a Hamilton Boys’ High School striker after pulling off a one-on-one save during the First XI Super 8 football final last week.
“It was pretty much a bombardment. Hamilton put us under a lot of pressure and forced me into making a lot of saves.” Robinson reflects when describing Napier’s gusty penalty shootout triumph.
In the space of 12 months Napier have gone from fifth in Super 8 to a top eight ranking side nationally and now Super 8 winners for the first time since 2008. Robinson attributes the improvement to an overhaul in tactics.
“Last year our strategy of keeping the ball and attacking wasn’t really working. Other teams are quicker and more skilful on the ground so we changed to a more defensive mindset. That’s not to say we can’t attack, but we find we are better at stifling the opposition,” he reveals.
Robinson kept three clean sheets in the first four matches of Super 8 as Napier blunted all challenges to reach the final. Jorge Akers scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over New Plymouth BHS and the deciding goal in the semi-final against Palmerston North BHS. Hamilton was foiled 2-0 on day one being reduced to 10 men.
“We knew the final would be different, they really came at us. It required a team effort to win,” Robinson assesses.
There was one save that Robinson was particularly proud of though.
“In the first-half they had a corner and I followed the ball when suddenly it hit the knee of one of their players and rebounded in the opposite direction I was headed. I had to reverse and palm it away. I’m not sure how I did it.”
Robinson’s powers of concentration may provide some clues as to his goal keeping prowess.
“The toughest challenge as a goalie is maintaining concentration. In some games, you’re doing nothing for an hour and in others your constantly on your feet. I am always working on ways of trying to maintain my focus.”
There are eight weeks until Nationals and Napier are seriously focused on a positive outcome. They will be training three times a week, plus gym sessions, in the lead up to the 32-school event which is in their home town.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence. We’re playing good football and the group is tight,” Robinson enthuses.
Robinson used to be a goal keeper in hockey. He plays futsal and was a member of the Napier Boys’ team who were runners up at Nationals in Wellington this year. He is on the cusp of cracking the Napier City Rovers Central League team. In 2018, Robinson hopes to study health science at Otago University.
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
More talented Kiwis will soon get the chance to compete on the global stage in the rapidly-growing sport of futsal after the establishment by New Zealand Football of three new national teams, including male and female age-group U18 squads.
The two U18 squads and also a new Futsal Ferns squad will complement the existing Futsal Whites national men’s side and create a clear player development pathway to senior international level for secondary school boys and girls players.
The introduction of the new teams arrives after a period of huge growth for the indoor small-sided game since it was brought under the umbrella of New Zealand Football in 2010. There has been a 340 per cent increase in playing numbers in the past six years with over 22,000 futsal players now registered and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council officially recording futsal as having the largest percentage growth of all its codes throughout that time frame.
While all areas of futsal have flourished, the women’s game has experienced a particularly high rate of development with a 23 per cent rise in participation since 2015.
Both U18 national teams will also soon be in action on home soil at the inaugural OFC Youth Futsal Championship, hosted in Auckland from October 4 to 7. There is plenty for the teams to play for as that tournament doubles as the qualification process for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“Player development is always at the forefront of our decision making and these national team programmes will offer our talented youth players another opportunity. It is extremely exciting and we are looking forward to seeing how this pathway is able to positively influence more junior and youth players to pursue futsal,” says New Zealand Football Chief Operating Officer Dave Payne.
“The standard of the National Women’s League, university and youth championships is a good indicator that regional federation day-to-day development is rewarding us with a national talent pool.”
In addition, the NZF National Youth Futsal Championships continue to attract huge numbers with over 700 players set to converge on Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North over three days from this Friday for the 2017 edition of the tournament.
“With the introduction of the new national teams, the talented young players that emerge from tournaments such as these now have a clear pathway right to the top and a range of opportunities that have never been on offer before,” Payne says.
“It is incredibly exciting for everyone involved and will stand the game in good stead as New Zealand Football continues in its aim of making futsal the nation’s best and biggest small-sided sport.”
Upcoming Futsal National Teams Events
Futsal Ferns vs New Caledonia
September 12, 13, 14
ASB Baypark Arena, Tauranga
Futsal Whites vs New Caledonia
September 12, 13, 14
ASB Baypark Arena, Tauranga
New Zealand U-18 Men and New Zealand U-18 Women
OFC Youth Futsal Championship (qualifiers for 2018 Youth Olympic Games)
October 4 – 7
Bruce Pulman Park, Auckland
Congratuations to the following 32 teams that will contest the 2017 Lotto Premier Football tournament being held in Napier from the 4th to 8th September.
Auckland Grammar School
Cashmere High School
Francis Douglas Memorial Coll
Hamilton Boys High School
Hastings Boys High School
Hutt International Boys' School
Lincoln High School
Marlborough Boys College
Mt Albert Grammar School
Mt Roskill Grammar
Napier Boys High School
New Plymouth Boys High School
Otago Boys High School
Palmerston North Boys High School
Sacred Heart College (Akld)
Saint Kentigern College
St Andrew's College
St Patrick's College (Kilbirnie)
St John's College (Ham)
St Peter's College (Akld)
St Peter's School (Cambridge)
St Thomas of Canterbury College
Tauranga Boys' College
Westlake Boys High School
Hamilton Boys’ High School bounced back from yesterday’s shock loss to earn a place in the Super 8 First XI football final where they will play Napier Boys’ High School who remained unbeaten on Day two.
Game 9 (Pool B) – Hastings BHS v Napier BHS
Top of the Pool Napier played bottom placed Hastings in the last game of the pool stage. Hastings Coach Grant Hastings asked his players for a passionate performance and both teams didn’t disappoint. Whilst Napier had a lot of possession early the game was turned on its head with a goal from Hastings forward Niko Nanumea. Napier Boys’ responded and then scored again to take a 2-1 lead. Niko Nanumea then made an excellent break to score of a rebound to level the game.
The second half saw Napier deservedly edge in front once more. Hastings Boys’ goal scorer Nanumea then got caught up in the passion of the game and was red carded for treading on his opponent. Napier Boys’ Captain Campbell Hantler lost his head and was subsequently sent off for retaliation. Both players will now be unavailable for selection for the cross over games. The final score was 3-2 to Napier.
Game 10 (Pool B) – Hamilton BHS v New Plymouth BHS
In a game both teams needed to win to finish top of the group last year’s champions Hamilton Boys’ proved too strong. Without suspended captain John Clout, who was red carded yesterday, Hamilton produced a quality performance to win the game 5-0. Hamilton were up 3-0 at half time, but it could have been a lot worse if New Plymouth goal keeper Will Hart hadn’t been in fantastic form. Goal scorers for Hamilton were: Kyle Kirsten, Levi Clarke, Alex Frank with 2 and Matthew Shaw.
Game 11 (Pool A) – Tauranga BC v Palmerston North BHS
The winner of this game would top Pool A so clearly there was a lot to play for with both teams on two wins each so far. Tauranga again proved to be a very good footballing side moving the ball extremely well at times. The decisive moments took place in the first period with Adam Davidson and Alex Elliot scoring for TBC. With the half time score at 2-0 no further goals were added leaving Tauranga Boys’ College top of the pool.
Game 12 (Pool A) – Gisborne BHS v Rotorua BHS
Whilst both teams already knew they were to be playing in the bottom four, this turned out to be a really competitive game played in good spirits. Gisborne took a 1-0 lead into half time and doubled the lead in the second half to win 2-0. Gisborne’s goal scorers were Andrew Brott and Captain Riaki Ruru.
Final Pool Tables
Tauranga Boys’ College 9 points
Palmerston North BHS 6 points
Gisborne BHS 3 points
Rotorua BHS 0 points
Napier BHS 9 points
Hamilton BHS 6 points
New Plymouth BHS 3 points
Hastings BHS 0 points
Bottom Four Cross Over Games
Game 13 (3rd in Pool A v 4th in Pool B) – Gisborne BHS v Hastings BHS
The hosts again showed a lot of passion, but again the difference was execution in front of goal. Whilst Hastings did well in the first half they clearly missed their suspended top scorer Falaniko Nanumea due to a previous red card. Gisborne BHS did finish their chances and deservedly won the game 3-0. Both teams will hope to finish the tournament well tomorrow.
Game 14 (3rd in Pool B v 4th in Pool A) – Rotorua BHS v New Plymouth BHS
New Plymouth didn’t quite do enough to make it into the top four, but on this showing, wouldn’t have been out of place with a resounding 6-0 win. Goal scorers were: Kernow Phillips (3), Cormac Tindle, Ross Malcolm and Cam Burnell.
Top 4 Cross Over Games
Game 15 (1st in Pool A v 2nd in Pool B) – Tauranga BC v Hamilton BHS
This was an end to end game that could have gone either way. After quite a few games on the Akina Park the surface made ‘total football’ difficult. Tauranga BC scored first through Adam Davidson, but Hamilton returned the favour to level after just 5 minutes. Hamilton scored before half time through a length of the field counter attack finished off by Alex Frank. No more goals were scored in the second half meaning defending champions Hamilton BHS will again be in the final.
Game 16 (1st in Pool B v 2nd in Pool A) – Palmerston North BHS v Napier BHS
In another strong performance from both teams it was edged by a very early goal scored by NBHS top scorer Jorge Akers taking his tally for the tournament to four goals. With some excellent defending and good structure from both teams, as well as the poor quality of the Akina Park pitch, both teams couldn’t convert any more of their chances. Napier BHS have displayed excellent character and quality through the tournament.
7v8 Play Off Hastings Boys’ HS v Rotorua BHS 9.00am Start on Akina Park 1
5v6 Play Off New Plymouth BHS v Gisborne BHS 9.00am Start on Akina Park 2
3v4 Play Off Palmerston North BHS v Tauranga BC 9.00am Start on HBHS 2
1v2 Final Napier Boys’ HS v Hamilton BHS 10.45am Start on HBHS 1
Day One of the First XI Super 8 Football tournament at Hastings BHS has produced plenty of drama with 34 goals scored in eight games and the defending champions Hamilton BHS being forced into a must win match tomorrow against New Plymouth BHS if they are to keep their title.
Pool A is more clear cut with Tauranga BC and Palmerston North BHS guaranteed to qualify after two wins.
Game 1 (Pool B) – Hastings BHS v Hamilton BHS
This match saw top seeds Hamilton Boys’ beat hosts Hastings Boys’ 5-0. Harry Stocker from Hamilton Boys’ grabbed a hattrick with Luke Woolerton getting a brace.
The score was 3-0 at half time in a game where Hamilton showed they’re again a very good team.
Game 2 (Pool B) – Napier BHS v New Plymouth BHS
This was a competitive match that saw fifth seeds Napier beat NPBHS fourth seeds New Plymouth 3-0. The game was a tight affair as you might expect with four yellow cards issued.
Jorge Akers scored all of the goals for Napier Boys’. Napier led 2-0 at half time and extended their lead in the second half.
Game 3 (Pool A) – Rotorua BHS v Palmerston North BHS
Palmerston North proved to be too strong as the second seeds beating Rotorua Boys’ 5-1. The damage was done in the first half with Palmerston North taking a 4-0 lead. Kaykay Adeyinka scored four goals with Jeff MacGregor adding another for Palmerston. Elijah Robinson replied for Rotorua.
Game 4 (Pool A) – Gisborne BHS v Tauranga BC
In probably the game of the tournament so far, Gisborne Boys’ played Tauranga Boys’ in a hard fought match. TBC stormed into a 4-0 lead at half time with Gisborne picking up three yellow cards. The second period saw Gisborne put in a disciplined performance and staging a comeback to score three goals as Tauranga picked up a few cautions. The game ended in a 4-3 win to Tauranga Boys’ College.
Game 5 (Pool B) – Napier BHS v Hamilton BHS
A really tight game in which Napier Boys’ came out 2-0 winners. Napier Boys’ goalkeeper Daniel Robinson made two outstanding saves early on to deny Hamilton. The game’s pivotal moment saw Hamilton’s John Clout red carded for bringing down an attacking player just outside the box denying a goal scoring opportunity. The resulting free kick was clinically despatched giving Napier Boys’ a 1-0 lead going into half time. Despite being one player down, Hamilton Boys’ put a really good fight in the second half creating several chances. Napier managed one more goal in the second half in a quality game. Goal scorers were Luis Toomey and Ethan Martin.
Game 6 (Pool B) – Hastings BHS v New Plymouth BHS
In a relatively even game it came down to who put their chances away. New Plymouth managed to put two chances away in the first half and Hastings struggled to execute in the final third. Whilst the hosts got into good positions in the second half chances they didn’t finish their chances. NPBHS added another to win the game 3-0. Scorers for New Plymouth were Qing Feng Du, Cam Burnell and Kernow Phillips.
Game 7 (Pool A) – Gisborne BHS v Palmerston North BHS
The damage was done in the first half with Jaeden Shaw and Josh Davenport scoring a goal each to give Palmerston North a 2-0 lead at half time. The scores remained even in the second half as Palmerston took all three points.
Game 8 (Pool A) – Rotorua Boys’ HS v Tauranga Boys’ College
Tauranga Boys’ really put the foot down in this match dominating possession and executing chances against Rotorua. The score was 4-0 to Tauranga at half time and they added another three in the second half as well as keeping a clean sheet. Rowan Martin, Lewis Reid and Ryan Peddle got a goal each. Alex Elliot terrorized the Rotorua defense scoring four goals.
Palmerston North BHS, 6
Tauranga BC, 6
Gisborne BHS, 0
Rotorua BHS, 0
Napier BHS, 6
Hamilton BHS, 3
New Plymouth BHS, 3
Hastings BHS, 0
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