by St Paul's Collegiate School

Boys' hockey put in best effort at Winter Tournament Week

With a young and inexperienced Division 1 team, St Paul's Collegiate School Boys' 1st XI hockey team set out to Christchurch to compete in the Rankin Cup. Our goal was to emulate or improve on last year’s team where they came 13th. However, due to our hard pool (Christchurch Boys High School, Hamilton Boys High School and John McGlashan College), we had to re-evaluate our goals. The team decided to try and win the India Shield (17th in the tournament) and to ensure that we remained in the tournament in 2020 by avoiding relegation (bottom six teams go down to Division 3).

Pool Play

Game one v Christchurch Boys High School (CBHS)

Both teams start off the game well, with it being a very even game up into the second quarter but the CBHS team started to get on top of us and at the end of the second quarter scored three goals. St Paul's Collegiate School had a few good attempts getting shots on goal, only to be saved by the keeper. The third quarter saw St Paul's Collegiate School finally slot one in from a penalty corner finished off by Louis Brown, only for CBHS to add another one to their collection. Sam Lints scored St Paul's Collegiate School next goal, but CBHS was able to get one in the dying minutes of the game. 

Final score: 5-2 to CBHS (who went on to come sixth in the Rankin Cup).

Game two v John McGlashan College (JMC)

St Paul's Collegiate School created some good opportunities with Sam Lints scoring in the fifth minute and this score remained for the first quarter. However, JMC came back and scored in the second quarter and from then on it was all on. This game was intensely fought but it was JMC who scored the next two goals in the third quarter. St Paul's Collegiate School made a comeback with a goal by Ben Scanlon in the last quarter and then in the dying seconds of the game, a penalty corner was awarded to St Paul's Collegiate School but unfortunately, they were unable to capitalise on the opportunity. 

 Final score: 3-2 to JMC (they went on to come 2nd in the India Shield).

Game three v Hamilton Boys High School

Unluckily, the luck of the draw saw us play our local rivals, Hamilton Boys High School. A tight tussle in the first quarter saw the score being nil all. But HBHS got their game on in the second quarter scoring 3 goals. St Paul's Collegiate School made many good gains but just could not find the back of the net. We threw everything at HBHS but did not get the result that we would have liked. HBHS went on to score two more in the third quarter and another in the fourth. St Paul's Collegiate School played with great heart but it was not to be. Final score: 6-0 to HBHS (they went on to come 4th in the Rankin Cup).

Due to these three losses, St Paul's Collegiate School was out of the Rankin Cup (teams 1-16) and was to continue to play for the India Shield (teams 17 -32).

India Shield

Game four v Trident High School

Oh my goodness! This was an intense game. The game was pretty even for most of the first two quarters. Half time was two goals each (Sam Lints and Louis Brown). However, at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth quarter, St Paul's Collegiate School scored goals, so we were up 4-2 (Harrison Bond and Sam Lints). Then mistakes from us gave Trident a sniff and they scored two goals from penalty corners. The whistle blew and we had to go to shoot outs. We scored four goals (Sam Lints, Thassilo von der Wense, Toby Grindlay and Stellan Rennert) and with some amazing goal saving from Campbell Smith, we won the shoot outs 4-2. Very intense! So, we are now in the top 8 of India Shield and avoid relegation! 

Final score 4 - 4 (2 - 4 SO).

Game five v Whanganui High School

A hard day at the office. Unfortunately, the boys were coming off a high of winning yesterday and did not really kick into action until the fourth quarter. At the end of the third quarter, we were 3-0 down, so the goalie was removed and we played with 11 field players. This was a good tussle but we left our run too late, making some good attempts at goals, but only scoring one goal by Sam Lints, going down 4-1.

Game six v Burnside High School

Another intense game! I am going to need a pacemaker by the end of this tournament! This was a really good tussle in torrential freezing rain. The boys played really well in trying conditions. We dominated the match creating a lot more goal scoring opportunities than Burnside but we just couldn’t find the final touch. We were 2-2 (Sam Lints and Louis Brown) at full time so had to go to shoot outs. The score was 2-2 (Sam Lints, and Thassilo von der Wense), so we had to go to sudden death with Burnside High School scoring the first result, then Sam Lints evened it up, Burnside got theirs, and we missed. So close! So we lost 4-3 to Burnside High School. Another great game! 

Final score 2 - 2 (4 - 3 SO).

Game seven v Wellington College

Our final game of the tournament was against Wellington College for 23rd and 24th places. The boys started the game really well and Wellington had their mojo on real early and we just could not gain any traction. Half time score was 2-0 but the boys were keen to put some goals on the board, which Sam Lints did at the end of the third quarter. We threw everything at them but just could not get any goals in, though we had a few opportunities. 

 The final score was 5-1 to Wellington College.

There were 32 teams and we came 24th. We achieved one of our goals, to stay in the Rankin Cup / India Shield tournament. So we go home with our heads held high and a good effort put in on the turf. We look forward to improving our position next year. Sam Lints was the tenth highest goal scorer for the tournament with seven goals (highest was 13). Sam was also named as the team's 'Most Valuable Player'. Well done Sam!

We would like to thank all supporters, parents and sponsors, especially those who came down to Christchurch to stand in torrential rain! Special thanks go out to Matt Rees-Gibbs for coaching the team and to Jo Lincoln who was camp mum and whose support was invaluable over the week.