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Tanner Cup boys
Photo by St Paul's Collegiate School

Tanner Cup report 2022

St Paul's Collegiate School —

It was a welcome return in 2022 for the Tanner cup, which has not been played since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year's tournament shifted to the July school holidays, previously held in tournament week, which had the added bonus of most teams staying on site and creating a lovely atmosphere. The tournament featured 13 teams from as far away as Whangarei Boys' High School in the north and John McGlashan College in Dunedin. The St Paul’s team was a combination of Junior A and Development team players ably coached by Daniel Scanlon. 

The tournament was an excellent opportunity for some St Paul’s day boys to experience hostel life and for the boarders to spend another three nights in the hostel during the holidays. 

St Paul’s started the tournament on the back foot going down 4-0 against a strong Auckland Grammar side. They needed to bounce back in the afternoon match against Christ’s College to progress to the quarter-finals. They did with a fantastic performance winning 4-0 thanks to a great goal from Benjamin Lou (Year 10) and Edward Buckley (Year 11) grabbing a double. New Plymouth and Whaangarei Boys' progressed from Pool D.

Palmerston North and Westlake from Pool A and Kings College and Tauranga Boys from Pool B. The Pool B draw has a fairytale climatic finish with Tauranga Boys' needing to beat Kings to advance. Kings could afford to lose by one and still make it through at John McGlashan’s expense. With 10 minutes to play, Kings trailed Tauranga by 4-1, and their fate looked sealed. They got one back to be 4-2 down. With 15 seconds on the clock, they managed to win possession of the left-hand touchline and sent a long ‘hail mary’ pass into the circle, which cannoned onto a Tauranga boy's foot, earning a penalty corner right on the final whistle. They smashed the resulting penalty home to snatch a quarter-final place fromthe jaws of defeat.

In the quarter-final, St Paul’s met a heavily favoured Palmerston Boys' and should have been trailing by three or four goals at halftime were it not for some outstanding goal-keeping by Richard Reutsch (Year 11). St Paul’s only conceded one to keep themselves within. The St Paul’s boys fought hard and worked their way back into the match in the third quarter turning the tables on Palmerston. Mathew Verry (Year 11) scored a fantastic reverse stick goal to level the game at 1-1. The last quarter was a very entertaining arm wrestle with both sides generating chances. After defending two penalty corners on the final hooter, the match went to shoot out. Once again, the heroics of Richard Reutsch decided the shoot-out for St Paul’s, making a number of key saves to send St Paul’s into the semi-finals. New Plymouth Boys', Westlake Boys' High and Kings College would be the other quarter-final winners. 

Kings overcame Westlake by 1-0 in a very tight affair in the first semi-final. St Paul’s, buoyed by their underdog victory in the quarter-final, was hoping for a repeat against a powerful New Plymouth Boys' High School. It wasn’t to be this time for St Paul’s, who were well and truly outgunned by a very slick New Plymouth side, running away with the game 5-0.

St Paul’s met Westlake in the third/fourth play-off. It proved to be a very even match-up with both sides creating plenty of chances. Westlake took the lead in the first quarter. St Paul’s replied through a well-taken goal from Quinn Harris (Year 10). In the third quarter, they shot to the lead when Bronson Su (Year 11) poked home from close range. St Paul’s toiled hard in the fourth quarter, repelling several Westlake attacks, and the pressure finally told with Westlake finding a second goal, levelling the match 2-2.

With third place shared, it set the scene for a close encounter in the final, with King’s College and New Plymouth Boys' matching up. New Plymouth had all the early play in the first quarter and then came close occasionally. King’s College defended well and kept themselves in the match at halftime, scoring 1-0. In the second half, King’s College started getting into the game and found an equalizing goal in the third quarter.

The final quarter provided some entertaining hockey but no goals. Locked at 1-1, the final would be decided with a shoot-out. Some exemplary goalkeeping from the King’s College keeper Ben Woodhams put Kings in a winning position. With the final shoot-out to be taken with the scores level at 2-2, Tim Migounoff stepped up and went around the keeper with a very tidy left to right side step, pushing the ball over the line to give King’s College their first Tanner Cup title.

Final Placings

  • First place: Kings College
  • Second place: New Plymouth Boys' High
  • Third equal: St Paul’s Collegiate School and Westlake Boys' High School
  • Fifth place: Palmerston North Boys' High
  • Sixth place: Auckland Grammar School
  • Seventh place: Whangarei Boys' High School
  • Eighth place: Tauranga Boys High School
  • Ninth place: Hamilton Boys' High School
  • Tenth place: St Andrews College
  • Eleventh place: John McGlashan College
  • Twelfth place: Cambridge High School
  • Last place: Christ's College