Peter Jones

Peter Jones

Tasman 14s player Lily Parkinson in action. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tough going for tennis youngsters

Tasman’s rising tennis stars put up a strong showing against a formidable Canterbury representative selection at Pollard Park over the weekend.

The fixture was contested across 10s, 12s and 14s age groups.

A few injuries, other sporting commitments and timing meant Tasman were not at full strength but those that played represented the province with pride.

Canterbury boast plenty of depth in the junior levels, this year was no exception and the team, coached by Matt Meredith, made a strong start with Tasman picking up only two wins in the doubles to Rocket Richards and Liam Howes in the 10s boys, plus Lily Parkinson and Ashley Welsh in the 14s girls.

Tasman, coached by John Gardiner and Ashleigh Calder, tried to regroup before the singles matches but again Canterbury were very strong with only Ashley Welsh and Poppy Eradus picking up wins in the 14s girls and Rocket Richards in the 10s boys. The mixed doubles also went the way of Canterbury although Tasman put up a strong fight.

On Sunday the reverse singles were contested. Wins were recorded by Sid Yank in the 12s boys and Liam Howes in the 10s boys.

Marlborough player Joe Bushell came in at the last minute and helped out Canterbury, who had a sick player He had four wins in the 10s competition.

Tasman players from Marlborough: Jay Geris, Brandon Brooker, William Poff, Joe Yank, Dan Clarke, Ryo Kimura, Elijah O’Donnell, Sid Yank, Oliver Clarke, Josh Harris, Lily Parkinson, Poppy Eradus, Lilly Walkenhorst, Jemimah O’Donnell, Poppy Parkinson.

Back row, from left, Alastair Keay (Head Coach), Katie Parkinson (Tauranga), Georgia Morrison, Siobhan Keay, Charlotte Brown, Molly Norton, Emma Flanagan, Glen Morrison (Assistant Coach). Front row: Meg Flanagan, Abbey Moody, Leilani Horan (Tauranga). Photo: Supplied.

Silver medal time for local water polo team

Marlborough’s under-16 girls water polo team claimed a silver medal at the national U16 girls division two tournament in Auckland recently.

The team, which comprised seven Marlborough players and two loan players from Tauranga, played superbly throughout the four-day tournament.

First up was Waikato with the Marlborough side’s fitness showing through, allowing them to win 21-2.

Next day they faced a tougher assignment, beating North Harbour (White) 5-4, slowing down the oppositions’ attack with tight defence.

Later that evening they played Canterbury B, tight defence and quick breaks taking them to a 14-2 win which propelled them to the top of their pool.

In the ensuing quarter finals they met North Harbour (Black) and came away with a 9-1 win. Next stop was a semi-final against Tauranga, which was won 9-6, setting up a final against the similarly unbeaten Rotorua team.

In a tight tussle, the sides were locked 3-3 at half time and Marlborough led by one at the end of the third quarter. Rotorua stepped up in the final stanza, scoring twice to come away with a 7-6 win, meaning Marlborough had to settle for silver, a top effort given it was their first U16 national tournament.

Abbey Moody, from the Marlborough Water Polo Club, took out the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

Coach Alastair Keay described it as a “great tournament”.

“The girls had a great time and would like to thank the coaches, manager and supporters who travelled to Auckland as well as all those who were supporting from back home, much appreciated.

“Thanks also to everyone who bought sheep manure for our fundraiser, Meaters of Marlborough for a great array of meat, Subway for providing lunch vouchers and Stadium 2000 for providing a great training facility.”

Jess Drummond was in fine form for the Mako when they overcame North Harbour on Saturday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Tasman women’s season goes on

The Tasman women’s rugby team have earned themselves at least another week of Farah Palmer Cup championship play after getting the better of North Harbour during their quarterfinal in Auckland on Saturday.

The Mako women underlined their improvement this campaign by getting up for a 25-19 win against a side they had lost to first-up in the round-robin series.

Tasman started well, dominating the early exchanges and being reward through an early penalty to first five Hayley Hutana.

However a defensive misread quickly opened the door for the home side, who scored to take a 5-3 lead.

Fullback Bethan Manners replied with a try of her own, Hutana’s conversion opening up a 10-5 advantage before Harbour added a second try and conversion just before halftime to head into the sheds with a 12-10 lead.

The visitors were on the board first in the second spell, winger Rebecca Kersten dotting down. A conversion and penalty to Hutana shot the Mako out to a 20-12 advantage, then Sydnee Wilkins added their third touchdown to push them 13 points ahead.

Harbour weren’t about to lie down though and mounted a late comeback, scoring a converted try with six minutes to go. However, Tasman managed to hang on, despite what head coach Chris Binns described as “a few hair-raising moments”, when the home side threw everything into attack in the final minutes.

Best of the Mako crew were outstanding midfielder Jess Drummond, hard-working lock Courtney Clarke and halfback Jamie Paenga, a late call-up for Pippa Andrews who suffered an eye injury at training and had to withdraw.

Binns said the side had travelled north confident they could get the job done.

“After week one North Harbour were never a team that was going to scare us too much … we felt we had let ourselves down a wee bit when we played them in Blenheim.

“There has been so many learnings for the team between then and now. But until you walk away with the result you are never too sure.”

Their gritty victory means they will play Otago in Dunedin on Saturday in a FPC championship semifinal at Napier. In their previous meeting they lost 58-15 to the southerners.

Binns said that despite the lop-sided scoreline last time they met he was happy to be heading to Dunedin.

“If we can bring some of the physicality we had today then anything is possible – especially in a semi-final. Pressure does funny things to teams.”

Tasman 25 (Bethan Manners, Sydnee Wilkins, Rebecca Kersten tries, Hayley Hutana 2 pen, 2 con) North Harbour 19. HT: 12-10 Harbour.

Leicester Fainga’anuku was a handful for the Hawke’s Bay defence in Napier, bagging two tries on Saturday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Mako make history with round-robin clean sweep

A combination of attacking brilliance and set piece dominance saw the Tasman Mako create their own slice of history in Napier on Saturday.

The Mako downed Hawke’s Bay 47-28 to clinch an unbeaten run through Mitre 10 Cup round robin play, a first for the fledgling union and the first time that has been achieved by any NPC side since Auckland did so in 2007.

Historical significance aside, the Magpies’ match also provided Tasman with an ideal dress rehearsal for this week’s Mitre 10 Cup premiership semifinal at Lansdowne Park.

The match was evenly poised at the break, Tasman ahead 19-14, but the first 20 minutes after halftime produced four Mako tries and quickly took the game out of the home side’s reach.

Within two minutes of oranges Leicester Fainga’anuku scored his second try as the forwards and back combined to produce some irresistible attack. Ten minutes later Mitch Hunt was over, again the result of some sparking team work, then Alex Nankivell, arguably man of the match for Tasman, produced some individual brilliance to bag their sixth. Hooker Hugh Roach added the Mako’s final try in the 60th minute, underlining the impact of the “Sparkies” off the bench.

The home side picked up a couple of late tries to earn a bonus point, but the match was well and truly decided by then, underlying the difference in class between a top premiership side and a top championship outfit.

The first half was a see-sawing affair, with five tries scored.

The home side struck first, after just five minutes, when Marino Mikaele Tu’u scored, Tiaan Falcon’s conversion giving the Magpies an early 7-0 lead.

However the Mako bounced back quickly, No 8 Sione Havili benefitting from some determined work by Nankivell to bag the visitor’s first five-pointer. Hunt’s conversion levelled the scores.

The Magpies again claimed the lead midway through the half, No 8 Devan Flanders breaking a tackle from a five-metre scrum to score, with Falcon adding his second conversion.

Again Tasman drew level, this time through a try to winger Leicester Fainga’anuku from a well-worked lineout move after their scrum had given them dominance, along with a yellow card to Hawke’s Bay lock Geoff Cridge for a high tackle.

From then it was all Tasman, utilising the one-man advantage to produce quality set pieces and threaten the home side’s line.

However, it took until referee’s time in the first spell for them to bag their third, scored by Tima Fainga’anuku who dotted down in the corner from a Hunt cross kick after the forwards found the Magpies’ defence too hard to penetrate close to the posts.

Mako co-head coach Andrew Goodman was particularly impressed with his side’s efforts either side of the halftime break. “That middle patch won us the game. We played some really good rugby then, right up there.

“We probably started a bit slowly again … a few errors and penalties built up against us to put us under pressure, and we got a bit loose at the end.

“But the boys certainly got what they needed out of the game.

“It was a great challenge … our defence got tested and there are some things we need to work on there, plus some of our work with the ball in hand.”

Another pleasing factor was the fact the side appeared to come through with no serious injuries, making the selectors’ job to pick a semi-final side that much harder.

“It’s good isn’t it?” said Goodman. “Better that way than the other way. We have already started debating [selections] as a coaching group so there will be some tough calls to make.

“The great thing about this squad is that fact they are all really supportive of each other.

“They were really excited today because they knew they had a chance to make a bit of history. It was nice to tick that off.”

Scores: Tasman 47 (Sione Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku 2, Tima Fainga’anuku, Alex Nankivell, Hugh Roach, Mitch Hunt tries, Hunt 4 con, David Havili 2 con) Hawke’s Bay 28 (Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Devan Flanders, Jason Long, Caleb Makene tries, Tiaan Falcon 4 con). HT 19-14 Mako

Marlborough-based players competed with distinction at the recent national table tennis championships. Photo: Supplied.

Table tennis players show skills at nationals

Marlborough-based players competed with distinction at the recent national table tennis championships in Christchurch, claiming several medals.

In the senior section, Alex Kennedy took part in the B grade men’s teams competition with two players from Sri Lanka. They won four out of five matches, Alex beating current NZ under-18 champion Jason Sivilay in a team win against Waitemata 2. In the individual events he qualified for post section play, losing to team-mate and eventual B grade winner Helitha Hendawitharana. In C grade, Alex was seeded eighth but made his way to the final losing to the top seed.

Alex and Matt Pigou played well in the C grade doubles, beating the top seeds in the quarter-final before bowing out in the semis.

Nathan Watson was part of the Manawatu 2 team that finished third in B grade. He was seeded second in the B grade doubles with Nelson’s Daniel Astle, and they reached the semi-final, losing to an unseeded pair who went on to beat the top seeds in the final. Nathan beat the well-performed David Walle of Canterbury in qualifying for A Grade, making the main draw.

Jacqui Wood was drafted into the Manawatu women’s team, who finished sixth in a quality field. In the individual events, she reached the final of the over-30 singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. In B grade qualifying she lost to top seed and eventual winner Kris Alisch of Canterbury  in five close sets.

Jacqui paired with her daughter Vanessa in the open women’s doubles, taking a set from the top seeds who went on to win the title. In the open mixed doubles she paired with Hasitha Samaraweera and they won a round before bowing out to Dean Shu and Kiwi table tennis legend Li Chunli.

Matt Pigou played only in the individual events but had a superb tournament. In addition to a bronze medal in the C grade men’s doubles with Alex, he reached the quarter-finals of the C grade singles, losing to eventual winner Jay Zhu.

In the D grade singles, Matt beat both the third and second seeds before losing in the semi-final to the fourth seed, bagging another bronze medal.

Youngster Vanessa Wood-Lin played for Canterbury 3 in the women’s teams and won both her singles matches against Australia in a 4-3 win.

Rob Honour, playing in his first nationals, teamed up with Matt and they were just pipped 16-14 in the fifth set against the fourth seeds who later claimed the title.

Megan Stratford, a former NZ title-holder, played in the open mixed doubles  with Rob.

Malcolm Honour, also playing his first nationals, came up against top seeds in the over-45, over-55 and D grades.

Juniors

Vanessa reached the final of the girls’ under-15 doubles with her regular partner Lydia Mercer-Beumelburg of Canterbury.

The girls, who were seeded fourth, beat the number one seeds in the semi-final before losing to the second seeded pair of Annie Chen and Takaimaania Ngata-Henare in a close five-set decider.

Vanessa excelled in the singles, reaching the last 16 in both the under-18 girls’ singles and under-15 girls’ singles. In the last event, she lost to Joanna Yang, who went on to win the title.

In the teams event, playing for Canterbury 1 in the girls under-18 grade, Vanessa won seven matches from nine starts.

The Marlborough under-15 boys’ Team of Rory Osborne, Joseph Ruwhiu and Peyton Ritchie competed in the B grade with their closest match coming against Canterbury 2, losing 4-3.

In earlier matches , the boys lost 6-1 to Bay of Plenty, Southland 5-2, and to Counties-Manukau who won the grade.

Hannah Smit was a draft player who played for Presidents 1 in the girls’ under-18 grade. She won a single and a double against Presidents 2 in a 7-0 win and was part of the team that lost to Australia 4-3.

Twelve-year-old Ben Sziranyi from Bohally registered the top individual placing among the Marlborough contingent, being named overall male under-14 champion. Photo: Supplied.

MBC are top mountain biking school

Consistently-strong performances across several grades saw Marlborough Boys’ College take the title of the country’s top mountain biking school at the national secondary schools championships last weekend.

At the conclusion of the three-day event, staged at Dunedin’s Signal Hill, the youthful MBC combination took out the overall teams title with 1152 points, ahead of second-placed Wakatipu High School (1064) and Shirley High School (1016).

Also competing in Dunedin were riders from Bohally Intermediate and Fairhall School. Twelve-year-old Ben Sziranyi from Bohally registered the top individual placing, being named under-14 male overall champion. He took out the enduro title, was second in downhill and third in cross country.

Liam Nicholls produced the top overall standing among the MBC team, picking up third overall in the under-15 grade.

As with his MBC team mates, it was consistency that saw him recognised, with points awarded according to placings and going towards the overall school total.

Among the leading performances from the 16-strong MBC contingent were a win in the under-14 cross country by Cam Anderson, a third in the under-14 enduro and fourth in the downhill to Owen Bradley, who was fourth overall, plus a fourth in the under-14 enduro and fifth in downhill by Tom Morrison, who ended up sixth overall.

Nate Washer claimed a sixth placing in the under-15 enduro and fifth in the downhill, placing fifth overall, while under-16 rider Cam Clemett placed fourth in the downhill and sixth in the enduro, for seventh overall.

Team manager Paul Molyneux said they were just a few among plenty of stand-out performances among the squad, with all the students going the extra mile to claim points for the team.

He cited the example of senior [under-17] rider Jack Sheridan, one of the most experienced MBC competitors. Sheridan was going well in his race when his rear derailleur snapped. Instead of letting mechanical failure end his race he picked up his bike, took it back to the finish line, repaired the problem and rejoined the race in order to add some valuable points to his team’s tally.

“That was a massive effort, especially in such a large and high-class field,” said Molyneux.

“This was the first time we have taken out the [teams] title under the current format. We had a young team and they all contributed. We have got really good numbers at the school at the moment.”

He was quick to praise the input of former professional rider Justin Leov, a Marlborough Sportsperson of the Year winner in 2003, who has been helping students at his former school prepare for the event.

Other Bohally students to pick up top placings were Finn McKenzie, who placed second in the under-14 cross country, and Lachlan McNabb, seventh overall with a second in cross country, 10th in endure and 12th in downhill.

Fletcher Kopua from Fairhall placed ninth in the under-13 cross country.

Waitohi's Jimmy Giles was named Tasman club rugby personality of the year. Photo: Shuttersport. 

Rugby awards handed out

The Tasman Rugby Union honoured members of their representative teams during a ceremony at the Turf Hotel in Nelson on Tuesday.

A series of awards were presented for community rugby, the Tasman under-19 team plus the Mako men’s and women’s teams.

On the club scene, three awards were presented.

Waitohi’s Fetuli Paea was named male club Player of the Year (male and female), awarded to the best club player of the season week in week out. The other nominees were Taina Fox-Matamua (Marist) and Campbell Morgan-Parata (Waimea Old Boys). Anna Bradley, from Waimea Old Boys, was named female club Player of the Year. Also in contention were Leah Miles (Waimea Old Boys) and Courtney Clarke (Motueka High School).

Waitohi stalwart Jimmy Giles was named Club Personality of the Year. A true all-rounder, Jimmy was the club’s President, Secretary, Treasurer, Club Captain, CoD Delegate, Coach and Captain. Under his leadership the Waitohi club won the Marlborough Sub-Union trophy and were semi-finalists in the E’stel Tasman Trophy.

Campbell Morgan-Parata was voted the Tasman Under 19 Player of the Year.

Several Tasman Mako awards were also handed out. Tamara Silcock was named the Mako Women’s Defender of the Year, while Ethan Blackadder took out the corresponding man’s award.

The Mako women’s Rookie of the Year award went to livewire loosie Leah Miles while outside back Fetuli Paea claimed the Mako Men Rookie of the Year prize.

Winger Rebecca Kersten’s efforts, week-in, week-out, earned her the Mako women’s Player of the Year trophy while the Jordan Taufua picked up the Mako men’s Player of the Year trophy, effectively the team’s MVP for the season as voted on by the coaching team.

In addition to those awards, the Mako Woman of the Year and Mako Man of the Year were also announced, after being voted on by the whole squad and management.

This year, Jessica Foster-Lawrence and David Havili, respective captains of the Mako flagship teams, took out those coveted awards.

Also honoured at the prizegiving was retiring Mako No 81 Vernon Fredericks, who played 56 games for the union. The popular loose forward’s contribution in helping bring the Mako from the lower reaches of the NPC to the top level was recognised.

Grade one competitor Jade Hall, who finished first overall, looks comfortable on the medal podium. Photo: Supplied.

Young gymnasts relish Kaikoura competition

A group of athletes from the Blenheim Gymnastics club enjoyed a successful trip to Kaikoura recently.

Over 100 children travelled south for the competition in the east coast town and returned with 16 medals.

The local club has had another very successful year, according to club coach Heather Cresswell who, along with Maureen Elliott, Greg Pask, Tony Quirk and Bob Richards, has been voluntarily involved with the local club for 15 years or more. It now caters for over 200 members.

Results from the Kaikoura competition:

Grade 1: Girls – first overall Jade Hall. Boys – third overall Dean Phillips.

Grade 2: Girls – second overall Leonie Yvon; third overall Isabel Lowther.

Iron: Boys – first overall Cameron Oakes; third overall Owen Potts.

Bronze: Girls – second overall Vespa Duncan; third overall Ella Russell.

Silver: Boys – first overall David Potts. Girls – first overall Jadey Jopson; second overall Ezrah Mischeski; third overall Alice Horncastle.

Gold: second overall Bella Rayner; third overall Anna Wood.

Elite: first overall Paige O’Brien; third overall Rebekah Anderson.

Rarangi youngster Aroha Minhinnick is set to make her Tasman senior debut. Photo: Shuttersport.

Top golfers to chase SI title at Fairhall

The mainland’s top women golfers will tee off at the Marlborough Golf Club this weekend, with the South Island Interprovincial title at stake.

The competition involves eight-person teams from Tasman, Aorangi, Otago and Canterbury doing battle on Saturday and Sunday in a matchplay format. Each player will play two games each on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The hosts have named a well-balanced team which includes four players from Marlborough clubs, who will relish the chance to benefit from a home advantage.

Showing the way will be team captain Emily Stenhouse who, although still only 40-years-of-age, is something of a veteran of these events, this being her “ninth or tenth” trip to the SI champs.

She feels home advantage will be an asset.

“That will help us a lot, especially playing at Fairhall because it is a tricky course. You need to manage it a bit better than some others.

“We are really looking forward to it … it is quite exciting.”

Stenhouse will take the No 3 position on the Tasman roster, which is headed by the prodigiously talented 16-year-old Lizzie Neale from Nelson. Eve Clarke, also from Nelson, is at two with Awatere’s Amber Boyce playing four.

Rarangi duo Tracy Bary and 12-year-old Aroha Minhinnick, who is making her Tasman debut, will fill the five and six slots respectively, while Jean Gibson from Karamea will play seven with Nelson’s Michele Reardon at eight.

Last year Tasman finished third among five teams, scoring wins over Southland and Aorangi and losing narrowly to Otago. Canterbury, one of the nation’s golfing powerhouses, claimed top honours in 2018 and will be the team to beat again.

After the event a final Tasman women’s team will be named to compete at the forthcoming national champs in December. That team will included five players plus a reserve.

The Tasman senior women’s team to attend the SI champs: Lizzie Neale (Nelson), Eve Clarke (Nelson), Emily Stenhouse (Marlborough, captain), Amber Boyce (Awatere), Tracy Bary (Rarangi), Aroha Minhinnick (Rarangi), Jean Gibson (Karamea) and Michelle Reardon (Nelson).

Play begins at Fairhall from 8am Saturday and Sunday.

Dolphins fielder Josh Poole is about to run out ACOB batsman Daniel Grimes during the match at Horton Park on Saturday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Dolphins get better of ACOB

There was a mix of good and bad news for the two Marlborough teams contesting the Tasman Premier League cricket competition on Saturday.

The Dolphins scored a three-wicket win over Nelson side ACOB at Horton Park while the Falcons went down by 107 runs to defending champs Stoke Nayland in Nelson.

After restricting ACOB to 172 from 46.5 overs, a very competitive early-season total, the Dolphins batted well to reach their target.

Their bowling highlight came from Josh Poole, with 4-18 from 10 overs, while Prabodha Arthavidu anchored their batting, amassing 77 from 127 balls before falling 20 runs short of victory. However a quickfire cameo of 18 from nine balls from Joseph Timms alleviated the home side’s nerves, seeing them home with eight balls to spare.

The Falcons managed to restrict Stoke to 196, taking Stoke’s final wicket with the last ball of the allotted 50 overs.  Nick Weaver, Matthew Stretch, Andrew McCaa, Bradley Horton and Harrison Boyce all claimed a brace of wickets, Boyce the most economical.

However their reply with the bat was well below par, being dismissed for 89 in the 36th over. At one stage the Falcons were 16-5 before some late runs from Alex Kennedy (21), Stretch (17) and Weaver (15) added some respectability to the scorecard.

The Stoke Nayland innings was something of a stop-start affair with Darius Skeaping and the in-form Patrick Howes getting them away to a solid start but then requiring a rear-guard action from the reliable Dylan Eginton.

Wickets were shared around amongst five of the Falcons bowlers with Harry Boyce picking up a couple cheaply towards the back end of proceedings.

The Falcons never really fired a shot in response as Ben Stark took great delight in terrorising his former teammates.  He made the early in roads and at 16-5 off 12 overs the match was pretty much over as a contest.

Skeaping and Howes both completed tidy game stats as the Red Machine carried on their traction.  They are going to be a difficult unit to beat.

WTTU and Wakatu were the other winners over the hill.

Scores:

Stoke/Nayland 196 (Patrick Howes 43, Dylan Eginton 43, Darius Skeaping 27, Harry Boyce 2-10, Bradley Horton 2-21, Andrew McCaa 2-26, Nick Weaver 2-35, Matthew Stretch 2-42) Falcons 89 (Alex Kennedy 21, Ben Stark 4-19, Patrick Howes 2-7, Darius Skeaping 2-22) Stoke Nayland won by 107 runs.

Dolphins 175-7 (Prabodha Arthavidu 77, Kirk Nicholas 29, Joseph Timms 18*, Nibu Jose 2-14, Joseph Gregan 2-18) ACOB 172 (Greg Chitty 28, Matt Eden 22, Nick Thomsen 35, Josh Poole 4-18, Jerrym Lamb 3-42). Dolphins won by three wickets.

WTTU 87 (Jarrod McKay 4-23, Kaleb McKay 3-22) Nelson College 72 (Cade Armstrong 4-28, Tom Cross 3-7) WTTU won by 15 runs.

Wakatu 235-6 (Brad Smith 63*, Tom Argyle 43, Fergus Hughes 42, Devon Serruier 21, Campbell McLean 20, A Brogan 2-43) Wanderers/Motueka 118 (Max Mannering 25, Damian Aitken 6-35). Wakatu won by 117 runs.