From last to first, Canterbury won the National Under-18 men’s hockey tournament in Whangarei during the school holidays and Henry Phelps is at a loss to explain why.
“It was a real wired tournament, everyone beat everyone. Before the final we had only scored three goals which was less than everybody, but we defended well and in the final started to feel it.” Phelps reveals.
Canterbury demolished Central 6-0 in the best of six-team decider. Canterbury led 2-0 at halftime, but only felt home and hosed late in proceedings.
“When we got up 3-0 the confidence and chat really grew. We started to gel.” Phelps enthuses.
Phelps even managed to score two goals.
“For the first goal I was in the right time at the right place. The ball came to me close to the post and I managed to slip it in quickly when they were short of defense. My second goal was from a PC when their keeper was off. They had four defenders in goal so I figured if a shot high, I wasn’t missing.” Phelps recalls.
Canterbury’s other goals were scored by Tim Schulpin (2), Will Mace-Cochrane and Moss Jackson.
Phelps is originally from the Wairarapa where he was a rep player from age 11. He shifted to Christ’s College two years ago and helped his school win the Canterbury title in 2016. Christ’s are again leaders in the local competition, but Phelps warns against complacency given the fickle nature of tournament play.
“We’ve got a real together team, but at last year’s Nationals Canterbury was last when we could have easily been top four. Similarly at Rankin we led St. Paul’s Collegiate who won it 3-2, but lost 5-4 and finished eighth. It comes down to the best team on the day.” Phelps explains.
Phelps says Christ’s goal is to defend their local crown and make top eight at Rankin Cup.
In addition to hockey Phelps is a keen musician. He plays guitar, drums and trombone. Recently his five-piece band Run 77 won the Christchurch addition of Rockquest. Phelps explains the name and the implications of rocking Canterbury.
“There is a sandwich shop in Tekapo called Run 76 so we just copied them and added one. Our prize for winning was $500 spending money at the Rockshop and 15 minutes recording time at Orange Studios. Our video is submitted to the National judges in Auckland and we find out later in the week if we are invited to the National Rockquest finals.”
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