First XI hockey team - 2018

Hockey team places well in Rankin Cup

This year the national tournament was held in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, with St Paul's team based at Papamoa close to the beach.

Game 1 vs Rathkeale College

The team was excited and it showed on the turf. They began well, with George Greenhill scoring early. SPC continued playing with confidence - excellent two touch passing. Midway through the half, Sam Lints scored from a penalty corner. Just before half time Jonathon Porritt made a great save in goal from a Rathkeale breakout attack. In the second half, SPC kept the pressure on, scoring three more goals (Callum Prosser, Sam Lints, and Constantin Gebhard). Final score - 5-0. A great start to the tournament.

Game 2 vs Southland Boys’ High School

Early start game - 8.20am. The team was slow out of the blocks and defended for the first 10 minutes. Gradually SPC began to assert their presence and Aidan Lee converted a chance just before half-time. The second half was all St Paul’s, but only one chance of many was converted by Samuel McClay, five minutes from the end of the match. Final score - 2-0.

Game 3 vs King’s College

A win today would have placed SPC at the top of their pool. An excellent start saw Aidan Lee pounce on a loose ball to score after 30 seconds. The boys played with great intensity throughout the half, but failed to convert chances. Right on half time King’s converted a penalty corner to level the scores. The second half was a complete reversal of the first. King’s came out firing and after 10 minutes were up 3-1. Heads dropped in the St Paul’s team and with 10 minutes to go we were down 5-1. We did manage to hit the back of the net twice in the final 10 minutes and King’s scored one more. Final score 3-6 to King’s. A disappointing result, but we were still in the top 16 as we finished second in our pool.

Game 4 vs Timaru Boys’ High School

A win today would put SPC in the quarterfinals. St Paul’s came out with a focused and determined attitude - so did Timaru boys!! It was an even start - both teams having chances to score. Timaru gradually began to dominate and only a committed defensive effort kept them goalless at half time. Despite the second half being more even, SPC failed to score while Timaru Boys’ were successful with two of their PCs. Final score 0-2 to Timaru. Can’t fault the effort of SPC, but they were beaten by the better team on the day.

Game 5 vs Westlake Boys’ High School

A win today would have the team playing off for 9th to 12th. We had drawn with Westlake earlier in the year and therefore we were feeling confident. Unfortunately, SPC just didn’t turn up to play. A very poor start saw us down by four after 10 minutes and by five at the end of the first half. The second half began with much greater intensity. However, Westlake slammed in three more. Final score 0-8 - our worst performance of the year.

Game 6 vs Burnside High School

After some serious soul searching and frank discussion about the effort against Westlake, our pride was at stake. The boys came to play. Goals to Samuel McClay, Aidan Lee and Trey Lincoln saw SPC dominate the first half completely. The second half was more even. George Greenhill scored our fourth while Burnside got two back. Final score a 4-2 win for SPC.

Game 7 vs New Plymouth Boys’ High School

Our final game of the tournament was against New Plymouth Boys’ - the Super 8 champions.

Again another early start – 8.00 am. St Paul’s, despite being tired, played great hockey against a quality team. Excellent goal keeping from Jonathon Porritt and Lane Tims kept New Plymouth scoreless, while we scored two - Aidan Lee after three minutes and George Greenhill 30 seconds into the second half. Final result was 2-0 to SPC.

St Paul’s finished 13th - the same place as last year. This puts the 1st XI in the Top 13 teams in the country for five years in a row.

George Greenhill was named MVP for the St Paul’s team.