The Wednesday competition had a very stop start nature due to the weather, with 4 of the first 5 rounds cancelled because of wet grounds. The girls narrowly lost their first game 4-3 against the surprise package of the competition, Marion College, who would go on to contest the final against STAC at the end of the season. The girls had several strong games in the rest of the season, but because of the lost games at the start of the competition ultimately missed out on a top 4 spot. The playoff for 5 and 6 against Cashmere was a very even affair and finished appropriately in a 2 all draw.
The team hit the road to Blenheim to compete in the Gary Sowden Satellite tournament. Teams from across the South Island and as far north as Tauranga competed over 4 days to find the champion. The girls began pool play strongly with convincing wins over Samuel Marsden Collegiate and Golden Bay. The second day saw a very tense game against an ever improving Rangi Ruru side, with Girls’ High running out 2-1 winners. This result saw CGHS facing Marion College in the quarter final, a team that many of the opposition coaches thought could take out the whole tournament. Both teams started strongly, with Girls’ High creating most of the early chances. Ella Fryer scored the first goal, but Marion were denied by a combination of stout defending a little bit of luck. Girls’ High ran out 1-0 winners and gained a bit of revenge for their first loss of the season.
The semi-final was also to be played against a team that the girls were familiar with – Papanui High. Papanui had come through all of their games without conceding a goal, and put Girls’ High under enormous pressure, striding out to a 2-0 half time lead. CGHS didn’t throw in the towel however and came out firing in the second half. An early goal gave the team belief, and the team grew stronger as the half went on. Two more goals sealed Papanui’s fate and sent Girls’ High into the final against Waimea College.
Alas, the final proved to be one step too far for CGHS. Conceding an early goal and some uncharacteristic mistakes put the team on the back foot, and the girls rounded out the half by conceding a fourth goal with the last kick of the half. Determined to play better in the second half the girls hit Waimea with all they had but could not get a goal to get back in the game despite creating a lot of chances. Waimea rounded out the scoring to run out deserving winners of the tournament. Overall the girls were happy with their performance at the tournament but were left wondering what might have been. The team is still young, and with the majority of players returning in 2019 the team is looking to push on to further success. Siobhan Regan was named MVP for CGHS at the tournament.
The girls were lucky enough to have great support in Blenheim, with several families making the trip up to support the team. Even the motel owners and long-term residents came down to watch the final! The girls would like to thank Jacquie Aynsley and Rachael McGuigan for taking time out of their busy schedules and travelling away with the team for the week.