College teams go unbeaten in Nelson

The victorious MBC First XI. Photo: Supplied.

Both Marlborough college hockey teams at last week’s South Island championship tournament in Nelson went undefeated, but only one was able to claim overall victory.

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XI took out top place in the boys grade, while the Marlborough Girls’ College crew, who put together a string of draws, ended up fifth, despite never losing a game.

MBC beat Timaru Boys’ High School 3-0 in Wednesday’s final.

They scored a goal in each of the first three quarters, top scorer Wade Sweeting opening their account, followed by goals to Sam Hamilton and Logan Lowther.

Coach Grant McMillan said MBC came out stronger in the decider and applied consistent pressure throughout the first quarter to lead 1-0.

“The second quarter saw our defence tested but the boys managed to hold strong and score again against the run of play to be up 2-0 at half time.

“The second half was hard-fought with the boys providing another goal through Logan to go 3-0 up and seal the victory with a full team performance being the hallmark of a solid final. Really exciting stuff for the boys!”

MBC were unbeaten over the three days, scoring 26 goals and conceding just one. Sweeting ended with 14 goals for the tournament, eight clear of the second-top scorer.

They beat Timaru 3-0 and Garin College 8-0 on Monday, Nayland 5-1 and Garin 7-0 (semifinal) on Tuesday before contesting the final.

The MBC team comprised: Patrick Neal (c), Wade Sweeting, Gus Varney, Jack Unwin, Logan Lowther, Sam Hamilton, Issac Brydon, Liam O’Connell, Luke Adams, Hugh Pearce, Lachlan Mackie, Declan Phibbs, Thomas Van Asch, Leighton le Sueur, Sean Moran.

Meanwhile the MGC side had an exciting finish to an undefeated week of hockey, beating Nayland College in a penalty shootout to bag fifth place.

Coach Amber Boyce said “the girls played their best game of the tournament on the final day, delivering a faster pace and cleaner style of hockey.

“Defence was clinical as the girls shut down the opposition’s key player. It was a really strong performance with all players stepping up.”

The game ended 0-0, with a penalty shootout ensuing.

Boyce said goalkeeper Mya Gane had prepared well after the shootout experience at last year’s tournament and dominated, saving three of Nayland’s five shots.

Charlotte Westend and Sophie Rowbottom scored for MGC to level the scores at 2-2, creating a sudden-death situation, before Gane made another save then Westend drew the keeper and slotted the winning goal.

Earlier MGC had drawn 0-0 with Christchurch GHS and Villa Maria, then 1-1 with Nayland, before downing Middleton Grange 4-0 in the play-offs leading into the thrilling final.

MGC could consider themselves unlucky not to finish higher, especially with Christchurch GHS, who they drew with, going on to reach the final, where they lost in a penalty shootout to Cashmere.

The MGC team: Mia Armstrong, Grace Calder, Hannah Chapman, Riley Foote, Mya Gane, Nikita Gapper, Georgia Green, Delyth James-Sitters, Lulu Judge, Georgia Marfell, Eleanhor O’Connell, Sophie Rowbottom, Aaliyah Watene, Holly Watts, Charlotte Westend, Sam Williams.

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