United forward Jared Buckley controls possession on the goal line. Photo: Peter Jones.

United get up to win hockey decider

United are the 2020 Marlborough premier hockey champs after beating Arotea Kiwi in a shootout at College Park on Saturday.

Kiwi led 1-0 at halftime, however United levelled before the end of regulation play, leading to the shootout, which United won 3-0.

The battle for third and fourth placings in premier grade was won by Beawai, who defeated Go Girls 3-2 in another tight affair.

Division two was won by the MBC First XI, who downed Beawai Masters 5-3, while Beawai scored a 3-1 win over MGC First XI to come third.

In division three it was the MBC 2nd XI who too the honours, beating Arotea Kiwi 2-1 in the decider. Emcee finished third after downing MGC 2nd XI 2-1.

At the conclusion of play the season’s awards were handed out, Jo Jones being named women’s player of the year and John McKinnon the top men’s player.

 

2020 awards

Best Dressed/sportsmanship: Arotea Kiwi

Most Improved team: Emcee

Winner of division three: MBC 2nd XI

Winner of division two: MBC 1st XI

Winner of premier competition: United

Combined Club Points: Beawai/Kiwi: Arotea Kiwi

Winner of division two final: MBC 1st XI

Winner of premier final: United

 

Individual awards

MVP Emcee – Jake Brydon; MVP Arotea Kiwi – Becky Melhopt; MVP MGC 2nd XI – Eleanor O’Connell; MVP MBC 2nd XI – Charlie Struthers.

Most improved Junior Umpire: Emma Blom

Most improved Senior Umpire: Jo Campbell

Umpire attaining highest ranking, grading or appointment: Di Morrisey

Most Improved Women’s Player: Veronica Hardman

Most Improved Men’s Player: James Young

Outstanding Contribution to Hockey: Grant McMillan

Contribution to Hockey Administration: Nigel Fraser

Women’s Player of the Year: Jo Jones

Men’s Player of the Year: John McKinnon

The victorious MBC First XI. Photo: Supplied.

College teams go unbeaten in Nelson

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.

The victorious Tasman women’s 40 team. Photo: Supplied

Hockey masters on song

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.

Several of the Marlborough masters players take a break from training on Wednesday evening. From left: Jules Maltesen, Jo Campbell, Natasha Veltman, Jo Jones, John MacKinnon, Rosie Lamain, Sandy O'Connell, Matt Hair, Nigel Fraser, Robyn Rowe, George Nation, Abby Scott and Andrew McCaa. Photo: Peter Jones.

Hockey masters head for Christchurch

What is thought to be a record number of Marlborough hockey players are bound for the National Masters tournament in Christchurch from February 23-29.

Twenty-two Marlborough-based players are spread across eight teams, most representing Tasman but others turning out for teams from Wellington, Otago/Southland, Tauranga and Auckland at various age group levels.

Abby Scott, Sara Stocker, George Nation, Emma Rose-Alison will play for the Tasman women 35s while Andrew McCaa, Michael Mitchell, Sam McConway, Andrew Nation and Andrew Mitchell will represent the Tasman men’s 35s.

Loren Hickin, Jo Campbell, Jules Maltesen, Tash Veltman and Jo Jones will front up for the Tasman women’s 40 team with Sandy O’Connell playing for Tasman men’s 50s.

The Wellington men’s 45s will have the services of Malcolm King and Matt Hair while the Otago/Southland women’s 55s can call on Denise Lloyd, Rosie Lamain and Robyn Rowe. Nigel Fraser is playing for Tauranga men’s 55s while John MacKinnon joins the Auckland men’s 45s.

The Tasman Tigers celebrate the region's first national title. Photo: Supplied.

Tigers earn their stripes in Tauranga

The Tasman Tigers overcame a two-goal deficit and a parochial home crowd to claim their first national hockey title in Tauranga on Saturday.

At the New Zealand Association Tournament, they downed home side Tauranga/Bay of Plenty 4-2 in a see-sawing decider to bring the coveted Floyd Shield to the top of the south for the first time.

In recent years they have threatened to get their hands on the silverware, including an agonising shoot-out loss in last year’s final.

But they made no mistake this time, going through the tournament unbeaten, adding a pool play win over their final opponents to their victory in the ultimate match.

However, the final did not start as planned for the women from the top of the south, two green cards in the first quarter putting them on the back foot, along with an early goal from a penalty corner to Tauranga/BOP’s Taryn Moore.

Four minutes into the second quarter it got worse, Stacey MacDonald scoring the home side’s second, her side buoyed along by the vocal home supporters.

Pip Lunn, left, and Kate Morrow get their hands on the Floyd Shield. Photo: Supplied.
Pip Lunn, left, and Kate Morrow get their hands on the Floyd Shield. Photo: Supplied.

But there is plenty of fight in this Tigers side and they were soon on level terms, Mackenzie Hanrahan nailing their first after 26 minutes, then Pip Lunn slotting the equalizer three minutes later to lock it up at halftime.

Play went form end-to-end in the third quarter with no addition to the score, the game finely balanced.

The go-ahead goal came two minutes into the final period, scored by skipper Stacey Lloyd from a penalty corner, then Kate Morrow iced Tasman’s cake and gave them some breathing space with their fourth seven minutes later.

Lunn was Tasman’s top scorer over the course of the tournament with five goals, Jess Davidson and Hannah Mowat both notched four, Morrow scored three while Tanya Hawley and Alice Roughan bagged two apiece.

In pool play they beat Tasmania 5-3, Otago 4-0, Counties Manukau 4-1 then overcame Tauranga/BOP 2-0 in a penalty shoot-out after the scores were tied 2-2 after regulation time.

Having topped their group by a point from their hosts, they were drawn against North Harbour in the semifinals, prevailing 4-1, setting up a final date with the hosts.

Tasman manager Denise Lloyd described the winning feeling as one of relief, especially after Tasman had previously picked up two silvers and two bronzes in their quest for an elusive first national title, eight years after the amalgamated team was established.

“It was awesome, the girls were absolutely stoked,” said Lloyd, “the semifinal and final were both brilliant games of hockey.

“When you lose a final the way we did last year it gives you the hunger to win one, that’s for sure. They had to dig deep to claw back into the final.

“It was a brilliant week – the girls believed in the process and went with Jonesy’s coaching and stuck to the game plan – most of the time.”

Crucial to the side’s success was the “tight four in the engine room”, the experienced quartet of Hawley, Lloyd, Lunn and Hannah Climo, plus calm goalkeeper Carly Englefield, who excelled at shoot-out time.

The Tasman side comprised: Tanya Hawley, Stacey Lloyd, Pip Lunn, Mackenzie Hanrahan, Carly Englefield, Grace Davies, Ella Williams, Kate Morrow, Celia Watson, Alice Roughan, Hannah Climo, Yvonne Boyd, Alisha Lewis, Aimee Kersten, Jessica Davidson, Hannah Mowat, Samara Dalziel, Kate Kersten. Coach: Paul Jones. Manager: Denise Lloyd.

Meanwhile, the Canterbury Beavers secured their sixth national men’s association title with a 3-1 win North Harbour.

The Tasman men, who also played in Tauranga, had a tougher time of it, ending up in an unlucky ninth position, despite losing only one match during the tournament.

A first-up 2-1 loss to South Canterbury did the damage. They then beat Counties Manukau 6-0 and overcame Otago 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the scores were level 2-2 at full time.

Unfortunately, with less points awarded for shoot-out wins, they ended up third in their highly-competitive group, relegating them to the bottom section of the play-offs draw.

From there they registered three straight wins to finish on top of the lower section. They beat Taranaki 4-2, Southland 3-1 and NZ Defence Force 4-1.

Jesse Forsyth with eight field goals was their top scorer and finished equal top of the tournament standings. Pat O’Connor-Lea bagging four.

Aimee Kersten shows her ball control during Saturday’s match. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tasman get valuable warm-up

Canterbury representative hockey sides dominated the majority of the weekend’s doubleheader matches against their Tasman rivals at College Park.

The matches were played in preparation for the national tournament in Tauranga later this month.

On Saturday the Canterbury Barracoutas, their women’s side, beat Tasman Tigers 4-1, while the Canterbury Beavers men’s outfit outclassed Tasman Boars 9-1.

The Tasman women rebounded on Sunday however, scoring a resounding 6-0 victory, while the Boars showed more cohesion and grit in their second encounter to hold Canterbury to 4-3.

On Saturday, the Tasman women were caught out by the speed of play. When they created defensive turnovers and attempted to run the ball out they too often turned over possession.

Down 2-0 at halftime Tasman pulled a goal back through Hannah Mowat but conceded two more in the final 15 minutes.

Sunday’s game was a different story from the outset, with the home side ahead 2-0 by the end of the first quarter. Tasman were rewarded by a great drive through centre field from Kate Kersten who passed off to Ruby Smith to finish. Their second goal came moments later, Pip Lunn netting after another great drive into the circle.

The Tigers were hungrier for the 50/50 ball and worked hard on defence, putting the Canterbury attack under constant pressure.

After a scoreless second quarter, Tasman lifted again goals to Lunn and Aimee Kersten soon made it 4-0. In the final stanza Lunn completed her hat-trick while Kate Morrow was rewarded for a good display with the final goal

Coach Paul Jones was happy with the turnaround from Saturday to Sunday when he asked for a better performance.

“Now the girls have a benchmark to start at. Everyone is excited and looking forward to tournament in a few weeks,” he said.

Grace Calder, from the Arotea Kiwi women’s side, dribbles the ball to the back line during her side’s play-off match with Emcee on Saturday morning. Photo: Peter Jones.

Student sides dominate club hockey finals

College park lived up to its name on Saturday when the club hockey finals were contested on the turf.

In a memorable occasion, both senior club titles were claimed by college teams.

The two title deciders were tightly-fought, being settled late in the piece.

Marlborough Girls’ College took out the women’s title, beating Beawai in a thriller. The students prevailed 1-0, scoring the deciding goal in the last minute of play.

In the men’s final, Marlborough Boys’ College scored the winning (golden) goal four minutes into the first round of drop-offs after the scores were level 1-1 at the end of regulation time. MBC scored first, netting following a penalty corner 10 minutes before the end of normal time, then Arotea Muppets forced a PC right on full time, from which they scored to send the game into extra minutes.

The first game of the day was between Emcee and Arotea Kiwi, for third and fourth position in the women’s grade. After another close encounter, the scores were locked 1-1 when the final whistle sounded meaning they share the spoils. Robyn Rowe scored for Emcee, Yvonne Boyd for Arotea Kiwi through a penalty stroke.

The next match featured Go Girls and Masters, who were battling for fifth and sixth position in the men’s grade. It was the girls who took the honours, prevailing 6-2 in a match that began tightly but opened up as the women asserted control.

The men’s grade battle for third and fourth, featuring the losing semfinalists from Friday evening, saw Arotea Kiwi men beat their Beawai counterparts 7-1.

The victorious college teams were:

MGC: Mya Gane GK, Maddie Horton, Lulu Judge, Nikita Gapper, Alice Roughan, Charlotte Westend, Teresa Campbell, Sam Williams, Ella Williams, Georgia Green, Isabella Boon, Bryher Jager, Hannah Chapman, Eleanor O’Connell.

MBC: Patrick Neal, Leighton Le Sueur, Hunter Davies, Kris Godsall, Hugh Pearce, Nick Williams, Joe Westend, Lachlan Mackie, Sean Moran, Gus Varney, George Varney, Declan Phibbs, Logan Lowther, Wade Sweeting, Sam Hamilton, Jack Unwin.

The Marlborough women’s A team. Photo: Supplied.

Hockey women grab silverware

Marlborough’s hockey women continued their top of the south dominance this season, retaining both the Pope Shield and Gladstone Cup in Westport at the weekend.

The Marlborough A team faced an abbreviated two-match schedule, with Buller fielding only a B team.

They played West Coast on Saturday and dominated almost throughout, coming away with a conclusive 4-1 victory.

Two goals to defender Tanya Hawley, both from penalty corners, got the scoring underway before striker Pip Lunn made it 3-0 heading into halftime.

Midfielder Alice Roughan was rewarded for resolute backing up when she bagged Marlborough’s fourth halfway through the second spell, before the Coasters managed a late consolation.

With Nelson beating West Coast 6-1, Marlborough knew a draw against their arch-rivals would not be enough to retain the Pope Shield.

They met at midday Sunday in what became a virtual final and a battle royal.

The game was scoreless until the final quarter, Marlborough goalie Carly Englefield and her Nelson opposite, Jackie Day, both making several key saves to turn away scoring chances.

The decisive goal came from outstanding Marlborough striker Celia Watson who latched onto a rebound from the keeper, scoring with a reverse flick.

As expected, Nelson finished strongly in search of an equalizer but Marlborough’s defensive back line of Hawley, Englefield, Sara Stocker and Sylvie Heard held firm.

Coach Denise Lloyd was thrilled to retain the silverware and praised the whole team effort, but particularly the younger brigade, suggesting the likes of Roughan, Ella Williams, Mackenzie Hanrahan and debutante Ruby Smith were now stepping up to become “a big part of the whole equation”.

The Marlborough A team: Celia Watson, Alice Roughan, Pip Lunn, Abby Scott, Jo Jones, Ella Williams, Sara Stocker, Sylvie Heard, Mackenzie Hanrahan, Kate Morrow, Tanya Hawley, Carly Englefield, Ruby Smith, Yvonne Boyd, Sjaan Greig. Coaches: Denise Lloyd and Andrew McCaa.

Hawley, Lunn, Boyd, Smith, Roughan and Jones were included in the tournament team.

The Marlborough women’s B team. Photo: Supplied.
The Marlborough women’s B team. Photo: Supplied.

The Marlborough B women opened their campaign against Buller early on Saturday and prevailed 4-1.

After early pressure Marlborough slowly gained dominance and finally got on the board through Jules Maltensen late in the second quarter. In the second half Tash Veltman converted a penalty corner to double Marlborough’s advantage, then Lulu Judge added a third before Buller scored a consolation. However, Marlborough lifted again with Maltensen adding her second for the game.

Later on Saturday they scored a 6-2 win over West Coast. Again a slow start cost the team an early goal but by the end of the first quarter Marlborough had regained control to lead 2-1 with goals to Tania Hix off a PC and a field goal to Abby Marks. Jess Wilson and a second for Hix extended their lead before halftime then Claudia Clark made it five from a PC. The final quarter was relatively even, Coast picking up their second goal before young Eleri James-Sitters grabbed her first senior rep goal.

The side’s final game, against Nelson on Sunday morning, was a tight affair, ending 2-2.

Marlborough had the better of first quarter with Hix again scoring from a PC but Nelson fought back and had levelled the score before halftime. In the third quarter Nelson lifted again, adding a second to lead heading into the final period. After a few stern words at the final break Marlborough produced their best quarter of the weekend, regaining dominance and forcing a penalty stroke with 7min remaining, captain Clark calmly slotting the goal to give her team the draw they required to retain the trophy.

Veltman, whose workload was outstanding, gained selection in the tournament team alongside Clark, Maltensen, Judge and Maddison Horton.

 

The Marlborough men’s team were also in action. Their campaign began badly, a slow start seeing losing 4-1 to Nelson first up on Friday, followed by a 7-1 reversal against West Coast later on the same day.

Their final game was against Buller and they managed a 4-3 win to avoid the wooden spoon.

Hamish Watson scored against Nelson, Andrew Nation netted against West Coast while Grant McMillan and Liam Geddes hit the target against the home side.

Jo Jones was a standout for the Marlborough women’s A team. Photo supplied.

Hockey sides finish on top

Meatloaf famously sang, “two out of three ain’t bad”, and that was the good news for the local hockey fraternity when rep teams from Marlborough and Nelson met in Blenheim recently.

The women’s A team retained the Ken Beech Cup with a 5-1 victory while the women’s B team claimed the Wyn Robinson Cup with a 5-0 scoreline.

The Marlborough men lost 3-2 in a see-sawing encounter for the McCarthy Cup.

In the women’s A game, Marlborough started slowly but got on the scoreboard towards the end of the first quarter when Tanya Hawley scored through a direct shot after a penalty corner. Goalkeeper Grace Davies played a crucial role in this quarter, pulling off several important saves.

In the second quarter Marlborough moved the ball better and creating some great attacking chances, Emma Allison scoring their second after another PC.

The home side began the third quarter in similar fashion, passing the ball well from the back through to their speedy strikers and were rewarded when Mackenzie Hanrahan put the final pass into goal for their third.

Nelson replied with a goal late in the quarter, but Marlborough had the final say, Ruby Smith being rewarded on debut with a goal, then Hanrahan bagging her second after assistance from Pip Lunn to wrap up a convincing victory.

Player of the match was Jo Jones.

Coaches Denise Lloyd and Andrew McCaa were pleased with the rep side’s first hit-out and look forward to their next fixture, the Pope Shield at the end of the month in Westport.

Marlborough women’s A team: Abby Scott (captain), Pip Lunn, Tanya Hawley, Jo Jones, Sara Stocker, Celia Watson, Sylvie Heard, Emma Allison, MacKenzie Hanrahan, Alice Roughan, Kate Morrow, Ella Williams, Grace Davies, Ruby Smith and Siaan Grieg.

The men’s game, also their first hit-out of the season, was “played by both teams at pace and with more intensity than structure” according to coach Paul Jones.

Marlborough found themselves 1-0 up at quarter time and 2-0 at halftime, Liam Geddes and Aiden Neal having converted the opportunities they created off two penalty corners.

This was a big turnaround from recent seasons when Marlborough often ended up chasing the game, noted Jones.

Nelson pulled back a goal in the third quarter as they lifted their game and the home side began to neglect their marking duties.

Marlborough kept attacking but turnovers up front and in midfield meant they were left defending for most of the final quarter. Under most pressure was Marlborough keeper Travis Brydon, named player of the match, and his fellow defenders who spent most of the final stanza repelling penalty corners.

Eventually the pressure told as Nelson landed two late goals to take the honours.

Both teams used this game as a build up for the annual Matai Cup in Buller later in the season with some key players to be added to both teams for the upcoming tournament.

Nelson’s goal scorers were Pat O’Connor-Lea (2) and Toby Bowden.

Eli Lambert, left, from Ward School, and Harley Sangster, from Fairhall, race after the ball during the Festival of Hockey. Photo: Peter Jones.

Festival of hockey

College Park resembled a frantic hockey playground on Tuesday and Wednesday when Hockey Marlborough staged their annual Festival of Hockey.

Pupils from 14 Marlborough primary schools gathered at the hockey turf across both days to test their skills, some playing the game for the first time.

On Wednesday, around 300 children from nine schools were split into year 3-4, year 5-6 and year 7-8 grades, the turf was divided into three fields, and a series of friendly games was played from 9.30am until around 2pm.

The Renwick Year 3-4 team, from left, Jemima Nation, Tehya Wallace, Jackson Boon, Mya Benseman, Harry Stocker and Poppy Stocker. Photo: Peter Jones.

On Tuesday, around 140 kids were involved from five other schools.

George Nation, from Hockey Marlborough, said the Festival had been a big success.

“It was awesome. I even heard that some of the kids at basketball on Wednesday night were saying how much fun they had had and that they wanted to play hockey next year. It gave heaps of kids that don’t normally play a chance to have a run around.”

The Festival is part of the Small Sticks in Schools programme, which encourages children to have a go at hockey, and is expected to be run again in 2020.

Numbers are well up across the junior hockey competitions this season, with a couple of extra teams slotting into each grade.