Burnside High School and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School may have come away with the main titles, but two Marlborough college teams thrilled local supporters with powerful showings at the South Island junior water polo champs.
The secondary school event was staged at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 from Thursday to Sunday, featuring sides from throughout the mainland. There were nine teams in the girls’ division and six in the boys’ section.
The Marlborough Girls’ College team battled hard throughout, spurred on by a vocal, supportive local crowd. They won their way to the final where they came away with a silver medal, losing 7-6 to defending champions, Rangi Ruru, on Sunday.
MGC were competitive throughout, peppering the visitor’s goal with a variety of shots but Rangi held their nerve, forging a two-goal lead late in the fourth quarter and holding on despite a strong MGC finish.
The MGC team was: Evie Price, Molly Glover, Dani Patterson, Emma Flanagan, Alice Paterson, Georgia Morrison, Laura Main, Charlotte Brown, Siobhan Keay. Coach – Alister Keay, asst coach – Glen Morrison, manager – Lawelle Morrison.
A Marlborough Boys’ College Composite team also participated and were highly-competitive, playing strong, controlled water polo across the four days. It was composed of players from MBC, Bohally Intermediate plus three from Southland Boys’ High School. Due to the fact they were a composite side they were only able to finish as high as fifth, which they did. After round robin they were placed third.
The MBC composite team was: Ethan McLeish (MBC), Alex Boyce (Bohally), Oliver Silcock (Verdon College), Harrison Milne (Verdon College), Jayden O’Byrne (Verdon College), William Rowse (c) (MBC), Finn Mackenzie (MBC), Dylan Price (Bohally), Ryan Marsh (Bohally), Isaiah Onolevu (MBC). Coach Duncan Mackenzie, assistant coach – Agost Radzik.
MBC were the only team to beat the eventual gold medallists, downing Burnside 8-7 in pool play. They played eight matches, winning five scoring 105 goals and conceding 58. Their three defeats were all by two goals or less.
In a thrilling boys’ final, Burnside HS downed defending champs St Bede’s College 11-9 after St Bede’s had led 9-8 at the end of the third period.
A Queen Charlotte College team also took part, winding up eight in what proved a valuable learning experience for the Picton-based school.
A recurring theme among players, coaches and supporters was what a superb facility the Stadium 2000 aquatic centre is for staging such a tournament.
7- 8: Villa Maria A 8 Queen Charlotte College 1
5-6: St Hilda’s 5 Otago Girls’ High School 4
3- 4: St Margaret’s College 3 Christchurch Girls’ High School 1
1-2: Rangi Ruru 7 MGC 6
5-6: MBC 27 St Bede’s College B 4
3-4: Christchurch Boys’ High School 10 Shirley High School 3
1-2: St Bede’s College A 9 Burnside High School 11