“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
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