by Sourced

Team of newcomers perform for ANZAC crowd

The 2019 ANZAC Hockey Tournament saw the St Paul's Collegiate School boys’ 1st XI hockey team once again host this competition, where they had a tough schedule playing five games in three days, against some of the best secondary school teams in the North Island. Our team is completely new with only five boys having played at this level before. So we used this tournament to try out new combinations and new player positions.

There were two games on the first day and both were fiercely fought contests, but unfortunately, the opposition was stronger. St Paul's Collegiate School lost 4-2 to Hastings Boys’ High School. The boys played 42 minutes of great hockey, with an eight-minute lapse costing the boys dearly, with the opposition scoring four goals during this time. We made a comeback with two goals scored by Ben Allen and Benedict Scanlon but unfortunately ran out of time to even the score.

The second game was against Palmerston North Boys’ High School, where we lost 3-1. However, there was very little between the teams. St Paul's held their shape and passed the ball well in the final third of the pitch, which resulted in a goal by Benedict Scanlon.

ANZAC day was a stunner, with beautiful weather including being quite warm. The boys played New Plymouth Boys’ High School. Once again a fiercely fought game, but our boys gave their all and ran hard, putting four goals into the net, including a hat trick for the Scanlon brothers (Benedict and Thomas) and one from Louis Brown. There was some brilliant defending from the backs and the goalkeepers and some great runs from the midfield. All in all, this was a great game to watch and the boys came away with a well-deserved win 4-3.

In the second game, St Paul's were clearly tired, having exerted a lot of energy in the previous game, and only having a short break between, and being very warm weather, losing 4-0 to Whangarei Boys’ High School. The boys worked hard, particularly the midfield and backs, to defend our goal, but unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on the forward chances that we had. The boys stuck to the game plan and executed this well, so overall the coaches were pleased.

Friday was day three of the tournament and was a little cooler than the previous day. Today the boys played Napier Boys’ High School, which was a tight tussle. The boys played well, with it being even for most of the game. NBHS scored in the second half from a penalty corner. Our boys had a chance to even that with a penalty corner in the last minute, but unfortunately it was saved by the opposition. However, it was a good game to watch.

All in all, it was a good run out for a new team, a great chance to see what talent we have, to try out some new combinations and game plans. We look forward to seeing our new team develop and what the rest of the season brings.

The team would like to the thank Mr Harper for organising the tournament, the Robb family for opening the coffee cart for two days, the coaches Messrs Matt Rees-Gibbs and Tony Hopping and Mrs Allen for being team ‘mum’.