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“I took the same shot as I did in the Canterbury final against St Andrew’s College. A little right to left drag and then a reverse shot because the keeper went down on the right side leaving the opposite side open.”
Henry Phelps reflects on his successful penalty stroke in last week’s Rankin Cup hockey final for Christ’s College against Christchurch Boys’ High School.
Phelps’ penalty propelled Christ’s into a 2-1 lead after the fourth of five rounds. Christ’s had trailed 1-0 after missing their first two shots. Phelps captured what happened next.
“Christchurch had to score to extend the shootout, but our keeper Louis Beckert saved their last shot which meant we won. Louis is the reason we won. He is awesome. He is a New Zealand Under-18 keeper and loves penalty shootouts and that’s not normal,” Phelps laughs.
A tough tussle between Christ’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School is very normal. The fierce Canterbury rivals failed to score in regulation time and the extra periods. Christ’s first Rankin Cup title since 1991 would have to be earned via the lottery of penalties.
“It was a super even game, back and forth the whole time. Christchurch was dogged and made things really tough.” Phelps recalls.
“There was one chance they had when one of their players went running up into the circle and hit a hard reverse shot, but Louis dived full length to save it.” Phelps continued.
Mount Albert Grammar School and Rathkeale College didn’t pull off many saves in the round robin matches against Christ’s. Christ’s scored 15 goals in those matches, but were soon to strike a roadblock losing to King’s High School who eventually finished 10th.
“The King’s High game was important for us. It was one of those games where nothing went right, but reminded us we had to be switched on all the time,” Phelps insists.
Christ’s easily accounted for Phelps’ old school Rathkeale College 4-1 in the round of 16 and dispatched Paraparaumu College by the same score in the quarter final. King’s College from Auckland presented a stiff challenge in the semi-final. Christ’s battled gamely to a 1-0 win.
“The King’s game wasn’t as physical as the final, but they were a good side. They had a lot of dangerous players who needed to be marked closely,” Phelps praises.
Phelps’ band Run 77 didn’t make the podium at the finals of the Smokefree Rockquest in Auckland after winning the Christchurch title, but with a Canterbury and National hockey title and a popular band away from sport, 2017 has been kind to Phelps.
“It was awesome to have so many mates from the Wairarapa in the final last year and to be involved myself this year was pretty surreal to be honest. It’s been a good year,” Phelps concludes.
Christ’s only lose five players from their First XI in 2018.
Christ’s College Rankin Cup Results
By her own admission, winning title silverware has proved elusive in recent times for St Margaret’s College hockey First XI captain and striker and Junior Black Sticks player Emily Wium.
Last week, Emily’s St Margaret’s side beat Christchurch rivals Villa Maria College in the bronze medal match at the NZSS Federation Cup tournament. Emily scored the winning goal in extra time - see sequence of photos above.
“Last year we came third as well,” she told College Sport Media. “I have spent five years in the team and we won it in my year 9 but not since! We also came second in the Canterbury SSL competition this year, losing to Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in our final.”
In July, the Canterbury U18s, featuring Emily and some of her St Margaret’s teammates, finished runners-up to Central in the National U18 tournament, while her club side High School Old Boys also finished second this year.
That title win could be coming up over the next few days, with the Canterbury Cats in the NHL tournament that started in Wellington over the weekend.
Emily is the only current secondary school player in Canterbury’s senior representative women’s squad and Canterbury are the defending champions.
The Canterbury Cats opened their tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Southern Storm – with Emily one of the goal-scorers – before beating Capital 1-0 on Sunday. Their last pool game is tomorrow against Auckland, leading up to the final next Sunday.
Beating Villa Maria College in the recent Federation Cup bronze medal match was still good consolation for St Margaret’s.
“We’d had a really close loss [to winners St Cuthbert’s, 1-0] in our semi-final the previous day, it was hard to pick ourselves back up but being the last school game for quite a few of the girls in the team and with the Pat Barwick Shield to defend helped us.”
“It was also kind of a weird feeling playing Villa as we have played them so many times this season.”
St Margaret’s didn’t start well, finding themselves down 2-1 and on the back foot. In the 50th minute, Olivia Allan scored an equaliser and there was no further scoring in regular time. Going to extra time, where first goal wins, Villa Maria put a shot across the face of the open goal, before Emily attacked from halfway for St Margaret’s. Threading her way through the defence, she drove home the winner.
Some of the best rivalries in New Zealand secondary school sport are found amongst the leading Canterbury hockey girls First XIs. Three of the four top finishers at this year’s Federation Cup were Canterbury SSL sides, with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School the beaten finalists.
Emily said the next few years of the St Margaret’s first XI hockey side are looking good. “The majority of our St Margaret’s team are years 11 and 12, and one year 10 too, so the future of our team looks promising.”
Up until 2015, St Margaret’s dominated the competition, winning 12 consecutive titles up to that year.
Hockey runs through Emily’s veins, since playing for the first time at a young age after first filling in for her older sister’s team.
The specialist striker spent two years in the New Zealand U18 team in her year 11 and 12 years.
Plus making the Junior Black Sticks in 2016 as a 17-year old. “Last year I was also in the New Zealand U21 team that played in the Junior World Cup in Chile.” Emily and Kayla Reid from Rangitoto College were the two schoolgirls in that side.
Hockey is Emily’s main sport, although she used to play tennis. Some of her St Margaret’s teammates also play other sports, such as Melanie Puckett who combines hockey with rugby for the Canterbury rugby squad.
After this week’s NHL tournament, Emily will be staying fit for a national U18 training camp in New Plymouth in December.
Emily is unsure what her exact plans are for next year. “My options are open at this stage, I am looking at studying for a geography degree but I don’t know where yet and I want to keep playing hockey and see where that takes me.”
“We were really determined to win the final knowing that it was the last game for the school in an environment where a decent amount of students and family are present,” Hunter Stent recalls of the mood before the Premier I hockey final between Wellington College and Paraparaumu College.
Despite being reigning champions, Wellington wasn’t the favourite to prevail, having been thumped 6-1 by their opposition a few weeks earlier.
“We tried to forget about that result because we had played them a few times before and the results had been closer. The seniors were really driving the will and game plan to succeed,” Stent explains.
Wellington held Paraparaumu to 1-1 in regulation time and with 40 seconds left in 7 versus 7 extra time Marco Brown scored a golden goal to win Wellington the title for the fourth time in six years.
“We’ve had a really good run, but this season wasn’t going so well until that result. We have a lot of young guys and are rebuilding so to win P1 was really special,” Stent acclaims.
Wellington will be forced to rebuild without Stent in 2018, leaving a massive hole in experience. Hunter was the first player in seven years and among a select few to play over 100 games for Wellington College.
“It’s possible to reach 100 games now because we play between 25 and 30 fixtures a season, but even so it's pretty special to think I have played 100 games. I have a lot of great memories,” Stent acclaims.
Hunter’s first game was in Year 9 and he hit the post with his first shot. In Year 10 and 11 he was a striker and a prolific goal scorer alongside Daniel Harris who has been selected in several New Zealand teams.
“Daniel was a great player for us. It was a privilege to play alongside him and I learned a lot from watching him,” Stent praises.
In 2015, Wellington was Premier I champions and finished fourth at the Rankin Cup with Harris scoring 52 goals.
Another fond memory was in 2014 when Stent was a member of the Wellington under-15 side who had to come from behind to beat North Harbour on strokes in the final of the National tournament. It was Wellington’s first win in the event since sharing the title with Auckland in 2004, and it was the first outright win for Wellington since 1997. What’s more Wellington was the only unbeaten team at the event while every other team lost at least twice and Stent was the leading goalscorer, with 11.
Stent played his last three seasons in the midfield. In 2016 he helped Wellington reach the quarterfinals of the Rankin Cup where they were eliminated by eventual winners St Paul’s Collegiate in a controversial fashion. Stent explains what happened.
“It was 1-1 with about five minutes to go when St Paul’s scored a goal to get into the lead. I didn’t see it at the time, but watching it later on video the St Paul’s player touched the ball with his hand. It was unfortunate to lose that way, but who knows what would've happened in extra time?”
This year at Nationals, Wellington was beaten in the final of the India Trophy (second tier) by Saint Kentigern College.
Shortly a hockey honours board will be built at Wellington College. After a fine century Stent is bound to be one of the first names printed.
Last year St Cuthbert’s College lost the final of the AON Federation Cup in golden extra time to Christchurch’s Villa Maria College, making Saturday’s 1-0 triumph in the 2017 final over Rangi Ruru Girls’ School all the more sweeter.
“Last year’s loss to Villa Maria in the final is the only competition match we have lost in two years. Eleven of our players were in the side last year that lost the final so winning this year’s final was extra special for that group of players,” coach Mitch Hayde told College Sport Media this week.
Saturday was the third time that St Cuthbert’s College have had their name etched on the Federation Cup, the pinnacle girls secondary school hockey tournament in New Zealand, after previous wins in 2008 and 2012.
Coach Mitch said this year’s final was as tough as expected, with Rangi Ruru’s defence proving hard to break down, in the first half especially.
It was 0-0 at halftime. What was said at halftime?
“We spoke a lot about sticking to the process and making sure that we have a strong defensive structure first. We knew if we could defend well that we could create enough opportunities and it was just a matter of making sure we put those away, which is what we did with the penalty stroke.”
St Cuthbert’s broke out twice early in the second half and the winning penalty came from Madi Doar in the 8th minute of the second half.
“It is always good to have that one goal buffer, and straight after we scored there was definitely a boost in energy where we had two or three other pretty good chances to score. To Rangi’s credit they defended these well again and got right back in the match, creating some good opportunities themselves.”
The final was a nail-biter to the very end, with Rangi Ruru almost drawing level in the dying seconds with a penalty corner.
“The team defended a penalty corner on full-time in both our quarter and semi-final matches so we were well prepared to defend this. The defenders put themselves in some brave positions to cut down Rangi’s options and Sophia Howard (GK) made an outstanding save.
“Defending that corner, and the whistle blowing almost straight after is a moment those girls will certainly remember forever.”
Prior to the knockout matches, St Cuthbert’s had scored 32 goals and conceded only one.
Completing an unbeaten season, St Cuthbert’s had beaten neighbours and rivals Auckland Diocesan in the finals of both the Auckland and Super City competition. “A highlight would have been overcoming a number of injuries, including not having one of our co-captains, Madi Doar, to beat Dio 5-1 in the Super City final, said Mitch.” Madi and Kendall Vaughan were the two co-captains of the St Cuthbert’s team this year.
“The team was very ‘values based’, with all players having a good understanding of the teams values and the behaviours that were required. These values created a hard working a positive environment in the team with every player leading themselves to be ‘the best they can be.”
Madi made her debut for the Black Sticks earlier this year, while Madi, Katie Doar and Sophia Howard will all represent Auckland at next week’s National Hockey League. Madi, Katie, Sophia and Tonya Botherway were all recently named in the New Zealand U18 squad.
The team scored 101 goals and conceded just six in the Auckland Super City competitions and scored 43 goals and let in two in the Federation Cup (144 -8 combined score all season).
Madi was the top scored at Fed Cup with 10 goals, Tonya Botherway wasn’t far behind with eight.
Coach Mitch is in his second year as coach and is looking to continue on 2018. Scott Vaughan is assistant coach and Ash James and Shelley Ireton are the co-managers.
The future looks bright for the playing roster.
“We only lose three players from this year’s team and we have a good group of up and coming players in our second XI and U15 team.”
Christchurch Schools came second, third and fourth, but it was Auckland’s St Cuthbert’s College that held aloft the AON Federation Cup in Napier this afternoon.
St Cuthbert’s beat Rangi Ruru Girls’ School 1-0 in a hard-fought final to claim the title, while St Margaret’s College defeated Villa Maria College 3-2 in the playoff for third and fourth.
Waikato Diocesan won the division 2 Marie Fry Cup, with Christchurch Girls’ High School runners-up.
The only goal of the final came in the 8th minute of the second half, a Madison Doar penalty, after Grace Parkinson had gone desperately close.
The majority of the rest of the second half was tense and willing. With 40 seconds to play, Rangi Ruru’s Annabelle Wilson was checked in the circle, winning her side a last-gasp equalising penalty corner.
St Cuthbert’s defence had been outstanding throughout the final and it held one last time and they went on celebrate fulltime.
Earlier, a heavy rain shower at the start had left the large crowd on the Park Island terraces scrambling for umbrellas and wetting the playing surface. That and the occasion meant both took sides a long time to hit their straps. The first clean shot of goal wasn’t until the 20th minute by Rangi Ruru.
St Cuthberts’ drove forward with several counterattacks that were just stopped by desperate defence. The score remained deadlocked at halftime.
St Cuthbert’s had two clear chances right after halftime, before their winning goal, Rose Parkinson and Grace Parkinson both looking likely.
In winning the Federation Cup, St Cuthbert's played the tournament unbeaten, topping their pool with a 14-0 and a 13-0 win. They beat Westlake Girls’ High School 2-1 in their quarterfinal and St Margaret’s 1-0 in their semi-final.
The St Cuthbert's squad that won the 2017 Federation Cup was:
Ella Greenwood, Kendall Vaughan, Charlotte Penny, Tonya Botherway, Lucy Stokes, Katie Doar, Monique Pitt, Abigail Jackson, Tiana Currie, Hannah Stewart, Madison Doar, Emma Rankin, Eliza Hay, Sophie Howard, Grace Parkinson, Rose Parkinson.
In the playoff for third for fourth between the two Christchurch schools, St Margaret’s College and Villa Maria College, the former won a thrilling match in extra time.
Team captain and Junior Black Stick Emily Wium drove home the winner in the second minute of added time to give her school a 3-2 win.
Just moments earlier, a Villa Maria shot from a tight angle had sailed across an open goal. But St Margaret’s counter-attacked and set up the winner.
St Margaret’s had come back from 1-2 at halftime and also survived a concerted period of attack by Villa Maria, which included two consecutive penalty shots, either of which could have won the contest.
St Margaret’s held their composure and with five minutes of regulation time remaining, they scored the equaliser that was send the match into extra time.
Both sides had started in a flurry, both finding the back of goal and it was 1-1 early. Villa Maria scored their second and what proved to be their last goal of the match and tournament with a 23rd minute penalty corner.
As well as finishing third, St Margaret’s defended the Pat Barwick Shield, presented as a challenge shield akin to schoolboy rugby’s Moascar Cup. St Margaret’s, the original holders, had regained the silverware off Rangi Ruru earlier in the season.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand