by St Paul's Collegiate School

U15 hockey team steps up at a tough Tanner Cup

The ninth annual Tanner Cup Hockey Tournament hosted by St Paul’s Collegiate School saw the 12 best hockey schools from the North and South Islands compete in this under-15 tournament. The level of hockey being played this year was the best that has been seen at this competition.

St Paul’s was in a tough pool with Tauranga Boys’ College and St Andrew’s College. First up was Tauranga Boys’ in the middle of the day, with hot and sunny conditions. St Paul’s played some great hockey with real control and composure that allowed them to dominate for good periods of the game. Tauranga Boys’ managed to struggle through to a 2-1 win. The St Paul’s goal was scored by Cameron Bird.

Day two saw another middle of the day game in hot conditions once again. St Andrew’s College was a very competitive side, with end to end hockey all game. St Andrew’s was 1-0 up with five minutes left to play. St Paul’s substituted our goalie for an extra field player to create more pressure in and around the goal. Unfortunately, St Andrew’s scored again ending the game 2-0.

With St Paul’s next game only an hour and a half later, it was always going to be difficult with such a short turn around, coupled with our playing New Plymouth Boys’ High School, who had not played a game yet during the day. St Paul’s started the game well but begun to struggle to keep up with the pace of the game early in the second half, with New Plymouth putting a few goals away. The game ended with a 7-1 loss for St Paul’s. It is hard to lose when you know that you could have performed better if we had more preparation time.

Day three saw a dominated performance against Lindisfarne College, where St Paul’s controlled the game and created space for their strikers to get some great shots on goal. Two goals from Lachie O’Neil, two from Cameron Bird and one from Thomas Scanlon, saw the game end with a 5-0 win to St Paul’s.

Day four saw a slow start to the game against Whanganui Collegiate, where St Paul’s lacked a bit of concentration and positional structure. After the team talk at half time, we changed up a gear and started to play more our style of hockey. A second goal later in the second half sealed St Paul’s the 2-0 win.

Placing tenth was not the desired result, but the team learned a lot and can be proud of the hockey they played.