The Marlborough contingent at the New Zealand masters hockey tournament staged in Christchurch last week returned with a host of podium placings.
Leading the way were the Tasman women’s 40 team, a combination including Marlborough players Jo Jones, Jules Maltesen, Jo Campbell, Loren Hickin and Tash Veltman. They turned on some inspirational efforts over the course of the six-day event, remaining unbeaten to take out the gold medal. The competition was decided on a round-robin basis, Tasman beating Waikato 2-1, Canterbury 1-0, Manawatu 2-0, Northland 1-0, North Harbour 3-2 and Auckland 5-0. Veltman, with four goals, was equal top scorer.
The Tasman men’s 35 team also put up a strong performance, finishing second after beating Manawatu, Otago, North Harbour and Canterbury on their way to the final, where they went down 2-0 in a replay against North Harbour. In that side were Marlborough players Mike and Andrew Mitchell, Andrew Nation, Andrew McCaa and Sam McConway.
The Tasman 50 men’s side, including Sandy O’Connell, also picked up silver, beating North Harbour and Auckland, drawing with Wellington and Manawatu, then losing to Canterbury and Wellington (in a final shoot-out).
The fourth Tasman side, the women’s 35s, finished sixth, despite losing just once in the tournament. They managed draws against Auckland, North Harbour and Malvern, beat Counties but went down 3-1 to Harbour in the play-off for 5th and sixth. Abby Scott, Sara Stocker, George Nation and Emma-Rose Allison played for the 35s.
Malcolm King and Matt Hair picked up a bronze medal as part of the Wellington 45 men’s side, who won four and lost two of their games.
Also claiming bronze was the Otago Southland 55 women’s side, with Denise Lloyd, Rosie Lamain and Robyn Rowe on board. They won three, drew one and lost just once.
Nigel Fraser, representing Tauranga 55 men, won a gold medal, his side going undefeated, while John MacKinnon, playing for Auckland men’s 45s, won five games in a row before losing their final to North Harbour and settling for silver.