With an average age of 15, our team was always going to have a tough week at the top tournament in the country. With a first up loss to Wellington competition winners Wellington College, our next game against St. Kentigern was our best chance to get a win in pool play.
Although we controlled much of the game, after we leaked two soft goals early in the first half we were not able to finish the opportunities that came our way, and the score remained 2-0. The first of the knockout games was an extremely important one; a win on Wednesday is worth eight places and guarantees safety from relegation. Sadly, after dominating possession, we were not able to put the goals away. Rathkeale was awarded a questionable penalty stroke to go one goal up, and our late goal was overturned by one of the umpires who thought the shot was scored from outside of the circle. The loss against Rathkeale was tough to bounce back from, and a narrow 2-1 loss to St. Bede's eventually put us in the relegation zone. We finished with a 2-1 win against Pakuranga College with goals to Beau Jarvis-Child and George Hall.
With such a young team it made it difficult to compete physically with many of the older teams, but it was really promising to see the junior members play with such skill and composure. Many of the boys who went away to tournament this year will be the core of our team for a number of years to come. This week provided fantastic experience for the returning players, and an enjoyable time for the Year 13's leaving at the end of the year. Although it was not the result they would have liked to finish on, co-captains Ryley Kennard and Ben Sinnamon saw plenty of success in their many years in the team, and were fantastic leaders throughout the season. Ryley was named our MVP for our team, and has been a skilled and consistent player for Otago Boys' High School, as well as his club and Southern U18 team.
A big thank you needs to be said to all the parents for supporting their boys, especially those who made the trip up to Wellington, as well as Assistant Principal Lindy Marr, and our coach Jason Dungey.
Future seasons look really promising for OBHS Hockey, and we look forward to getting back to the top tournament in the near future.