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.
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