Marlborough’s college sporting teams battled hard for podium placings at a variety of tournaments staged across the country, several picking up top eight positions.
The highlight was provided by the Marlborough Girls’ College table tennis team who won the New Zealand girls secondary schools title in Tauranga.
The MGC team comprised Vanessa Wood-Lin, Hannah Smit and Sophie Woodhouse and were coached by MGC teacher Megan Stratford, a former New Zealand junior representative. They also finished third in their group in the open grade.
In the individual events, Wood-Lin finished fourth in the under-15 girls’ singles while Smit was in a tough group in the under-19 girls’ singles, which included highly-ranked New Zealand players.
In the latter stages of the South Island netball champs in Nelson the Marlborough Girls’ College senior A team had their eyes on a fifth place position, and qualification for the national champs. However, after some promising results earlier in the week, they came up short on the final day, losing twice to end the tournament in eighth position.
They opened with a 41-29 loss to Ashburton and a 35-23 win over Southland on Monday, then registered a 48-25 win over Nayland to qualify for the top 16 play-off group.
A hefty 48-19 loss to St Hilda’s, the eventual runner-up, was followed by a 31-31 draw with Rangi Ruru, then a crucial 34-27 victory over Craighead to claim a much-coveted and well-earned spot in the top eight.
On Thursday, they went down 49-27 to St Margaret’s College then lost 33-30 to Nelson College for Girls in the battle for 7th and 8th.
Christchurch Girls High School won the tournament, beating St Hilda’s 29-27 in a thrilling A grade final.
A strong finish saw the MGC senior hockey team pick up a fifth placing at the Audrey Timlin Memorial tournament in Timaru, which ended on Friday.
They downed Kristin College 1-0 on the final day, MGC’s first-quarter goal coming from Nikita Gapper.
MGC began the tournament strongly, beating Waimea 5-2, Otago 4-0 and Kristin 4-2 to top their pool.
They then played James Hargest in a quarterfinal, the match tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time, before Hargest prevailed in a penalty shootout 2-1 to push MGC out of the top four.
Relegated to the 5th-8th group, MGC’s next opponent was home side Timaru, who they beat 1-0 to set up the return match with Kristin.
Georgia Green, with five goals, was the tournament’s equal top-scorer. Pippa Barnes was close behind with four.
Meanwhile, the MBC senior side, playing in the Johson Cup tournament in Invercargill, ended up eighth.
MBC struggled to string together winning results, drawing 1-1 with Rathkeale, losing 5-2 to Taradale and 3-0 to Southland, then beating James Hargest 6-1 in the early stages. A loss to Otago on Thursday put them in a play-off for 7th and 8th position, earning a rematch against home side Southland who prevailed 5-1.
Leighton Le Sueur was top scorer for MBC with four goals.
The MBC First XI, competing in the Jim Wisheart tournament which was staged in Blenheim form Monday to Thursday, ended up in 13th position, beating Taieri 5-4 in their final encounter. The event was won by Shirley, who beat Wakatipu 3-0 in the final.
MBC found the going tough, following a first-up 4-2 win over Taieri. A 2-1 defeat by tournament winner Shirley followed, then a 3-2 loss to St Bernard’s.
Meanwhile, MGC’s senior footballers ended up 8th at the Gary Sowden tournament which concluded on Thursday in Timaru.
In their last match they went down 2-1 to Rangi Ruru. The final was won by Marian, who beat Cashmere 3-0 in the tournament decider.
MGC started promisingly, drawing 1-1 with Rangi Ruru, and beating Wainuiomata 5-0, then Roncalli 2-0. However, a 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Papanui followed, then a penalty shoot-out reversal to Papanui, putting them in the match for 7th or 8th.
The Marlborough Boys’ College under-15 team competed in Christchurch from Monday to Thursday and finished fifth, improving as the tournament went on.
First-up they lost to eventual winners Christ’s College 36-8, then they lost to Southland 22-21, before beating Waitaki 36-7 and Shirley 43-7.
Best of the forwards were Sione Papani, Watson Tahavalu, Arlyn Bull and Toby McLeod. In the backs Jake Pacey, Sentenari Ponesi, Nikau Peipi and Charles Tupouto’a, who mixed his time between backs and forwards, impressed.
Three basketball teams travelled out of town for tournaments.
The MBC Juniors competed in A grade at the junior secondary school premierships, zone 4, in Dunedin and finished a creditable fifth.
The MBC senior team went to the Schick Premiership AA zone 4 tournament in Nelson and ended up 19th.
The MGC seniors side attended the Schick Southern Cup event in Christchurch and came away sixth.