From the 5th to the 7th of July, the HBHS 1st XI Football team competed at the Super 8 Tournament held in Napier.
As the HBHS 1st XI travelled to Napier to take part in the Super 8 Football competition, there were many different feelings running throughout the team. After finishing in second place last year courtesy of a tight final, the team were eager to prove that they were the team to beat.
Day 1 saw the team come up against Gisborne Boys' High School. For the majority of the game it was one way traffic with Gisborne sitting off and letting us attack, and on a small field the boys found it difficult to break the Gisborne defence down. With the game 0 - 0 at half time we knew we had to remain calm and have faith in our ability as a team. As the game was nearing full-time and neither team had broken the deadlock, up stepped Sopharachwathanak Bee Hong to slot one home and put the team up 1 - 0 with only minutes to play. We held the lead, the game finished at 1 - 0 and we had out first points on the board. Game 2 saw us come up against Hastings Boys' High School. With this game being very similar to the Gisborne game we dominated the play and kept the ball well. Not long into the first half a great corner from Jafar Ali saw Legion Rogerson nod one home as we went 1 - 0 up. With a win needed to guarantee us a place in the Top 4 we were we were able to see out the rest of the game to win 1 - 0 and book ourselves a place in the semi-final.
Day 2 saw us with a much earlier start against Tauranga Boys' College. With both teams having won two from two on Day 1, it meant this game was the decider for who finished top of the group. Our game plan was to conserve energy for the semi-final and let Tauranga keep the ball. Tauranga threw everything at us and we went down 5 - 0. Our attention was then turned to the most important game of the tournament so far, a rematch versus New Plymouth Boys' High School for a spot in the final. Although the boys were tired, we came out of the blocks firing, pinning New Plymouth in their own half and not letting them have a moment on the ball. We were creating chance after chance but were struggling to find the back of the net. A great ball from Caeden Rogers saw Keenan Howard steam onto the ball and as he cut the ball back across the goal, young Oliver Campbell sprinted on to the ball to slot one past the keeper and put us up 1 - 0. As the half ended at 1 - 0, we were feeling confident in how we were playing but knew we had to stay focused and couldn't let it slip away. With only 10 minutes left to play, New Plymouth got a free kick inside our defensive half. As the ball came in we failed to clear the ball properly and it fell to a New Plymouth player which saw them draw level. With a momentum shift towards New Plymouth we had to remain strong but a quick break away goal saw their winger pop up unmarked at the back post and all of a sudden we were 2 - 1 down with only minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately we were unable to get a goal back and we lost 2 - 1 putting us into the playoff for third and fourth place.
Day 3 saw us play Palmerston North Boys' High School in the third and fourth playoff. With the team wanting to finish the tournament on a high, we came out strong having multiple chances but being unable to convert. The half ended on 0 - 0 and we knew Palmerston North felt as if they were in the contest. Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration saw ourselves go 1 - 0 down and as it had been all tournament we were unable to find the back of the net, with the score remaining at 1 - 0. This meant we finished in fourth place overall.
The team would like to thank coach Mr Scott and manager Colin Taylor for taking the team away.