Girls' Hockey qualify for Federation Cup 2020
Midlands Division 2 Final v Ruamata
The girls travelled to Rotorua to play Ruamata in the Midlands Division 2 final. The game was a tough battle with both teams rising to the challenge of a final and playing their best hockey with neither team able to get the upper hand with strong defence and considerable turnover ball in midfield. Full-time score nil all. The game went to penalty strokes which St Paul’s, unfortunately, lost 2-3.
The team deserves congratulations for making the final and giving it their best throughout the game.
Winter Tournament Week
The St Paul’s Girls’ 1st XI Hockey travelled to North Harbour for their annual hockey tournament – playing for the Chica Gilmer Trophy.
Game one v Takapuna Grammar
With the added incentive of Kate Healy’s cousin being in the opposition, the girls were keen to make their mark on the tournament. While the first two quarters saw both teams settle into the week of hockey, with missed scoring opportunities and good defence, it was in the third quarter that St Paul’s final came alive with a penalty corner goal to Darcy Hunter. Ayla Hall followed up the same early in the fourth quarter and while Takapuna got one back, St Paul’s took their first win 2-1.
Game two v Kapiti College
With coach Reiner’s intel, Nikki Parrott was set to mark Kapiti’s main playmaker out of the game. This proved a successful strategy as St Paul’s was on the board with a goal to Jess Scatchard in the second minute of play. Goals were added by Darcy Hunter in the second quarter and through a penalty corner to Ayla Hall in the third. Strong defence, led by Cate Wilson, kept Kapiti scoreless. Final score 3-0 win to St Paul’s.
With a 17 team tournament, St Paul’s had to stay strong in their pool of 5 to ensure a top spot and a top 4 finish as there were to be no cross over games.
This meant game 3 on Tuesday was a must-win game against Avondale College.
Game three v Avondale College
Playing into a strong wind St Paul’s were quick to show their dominance in this game with Jess Scatchard scoring two goals in the first 3 minutes of play. Sophie Chisholm added a third in the first quarter through a brilliantly executed penalty corner. Lara Beveridge added the fourth goal, also through an outstanding penalty corner, in the 2nd quarter, while Phoebe McColgan and Ayla Hall added two more field goals in the 3rd. Again, the strong defence kept Avondale scoreless with the final score a well deserved, and healthy, 6-0 win.
Game four v Samuel Marsden College
While technically needing a win, St Paul’s had put themselves in an almost unassailable position at the top of the table unless Kapiti could outscore Takapuna in their last game by a large margin.
While St Paul’s started this game well and were soon 1-0 up through a field goal to Jess Scatchard, Samuel Marsden scored next to level in the second quarter before Jess added a penalty corner goal to once again take the lead into half time. Samuel Marsden again drew level in the third quarter and were able to take out the game with a goal in the fourth, 3-2. However, with the girls cheering Takapuna in their last quarter, it was with some relief that they beat Kapiti and St Paul’s were clear winners of Pool D and into the semi-final on Thursday.
Semi-final v Rangitoto College
Semi-final time, St Paul’s were up against locals Rangitoto College. Throughout this game, St Paul’s were the better team on the field, demonstrated by an awesome field goal in the dying minute of the first quarter to Jess Scatchard. While the second quarter yielded no goals to either team, St Paul’s had their opportunities. The third quarter saw Darcy Hunter secure a 2-0 lead through a field goal demonstrating her versatility and strength as a player. Equally determined for the win, Rangitoto were rewarded with a field goal at the end of this quarter. With 15 minutes of hockey left in the semi-final, St Paul’s had to dig deep, and while supporters held their breath on the sideline, as Rangitoto were awarded a number of penalty corners, St Paul’s girls demonstrated their strong defence in keeping Rangitoto scoreless. A semi-final win to St Paul’s 2-1, and a place in the top tournament Federation Cup/Marie Fry for 2020 was the result.
Final v Whanganui Collegiate
The final on Friday against Whanganui Collegiate proved to be one challenge too far. While St Paul’s girls gave it their all on the field and played with real heart and determination, they were unable to better Whanganui who took out the game 3-0. St Paul’s were then awarded their thoroughly deserved silver medal, while Cate Wilson was nominated St Paul’s most valuable player of the tournament. The coaches, manager and all their supporters are super proud of what this team has achieved, making history reaching the final of a tier-three tournament and qualifying for Federation Cup in 2020. Well done girls. What an achievement for the St Paul’s hockey girls, whose total number is less than 40, up against much bigger schools, with much more extended (Year 9-13) hockey programmes.