Wairarapa College have finished sixth in the Wellington First XV Premier Championship with a 33–12 loss to St Patrick’s Town on Saturday.
St Pat’s dominated in the first half, leading 21–7 at the break, with Waicol’s points coming from a try to second-five Charlie Carroll converted by Cohen Scott. Waicol had the better of the second spell but could only cross for one try to Scott.
Despite the loss, the championship was a success for Waicol, who were denied a place in the semifinals by a last-minute loss to Rongotai College.
St Matthew’s and Wairarapa College warmed up for the Manawatu Intercity Secondary Schoolgirls Division One semifinals with easy wins in the final round last Thursday. St Matt’s beat semifinal rivals Whanganui Collegiate 5-0, and Waicol thrashed Tararua College 11–1 in the buildup to their top-four clash with Feilding High School.
Waicol will also host Feilding in the boy’s championship semifinals after their 9-0 trouncing of Levin Combined. Rathkeale will playoff for fifth and sixth with Levin after their 4–0 loss to Palmerston North Boys High School.
Kuranui qualified for the boys’ division two semifinals with a 1–1 draw with Feilding Highs School 2 and will play top qualifiers Whanganui Collegiate.
Rathkeale made an encouraging start to the top four playoffs in the Wellington Secondary Schoolboys Premier Division, holding HIBS to a scoreless draw at Trust House Memorial Park. The result represented a big turnaround from their first-round fixture, won by HIBS 5–1. Rathkeale are away to St Patrick’s Silverstream on Friday night.
Waicol suffered their first loss of division one, going down 2-0 to HIBS 2 and finishing second at the end of the round-robin. The two teams will meet again at Waicol on Saturday in the semifinals.
Milly France was the hero for Masterton, hanging on to win the deciding match of the Wellington Women’s C Grade SuperChamps held at Red Star recently.
The top seeds were unbeaten going into the final clash against second seeds Island Bay, who were also unbeaten.
Kayla Scott and Hayley Wilton gave the home side a 2–0 advantage, but Helen Gibbs was forced out of her match with a calf injury, and Erin Tait lost in a close five-setter to lock it up at 2–2 going into the fifth and last match.
France stepped onto the court and held her nerve in a nail-biting five-setter to claim the decisive victory for Masterton, who will now represent Wellington at the national finals in Timaru.
Wairarapa’s Andrea Harris was in the Wellington team that won the women’s 50-plus teams event in the recent national cross-country championships in Taupo.
Harris finished eighth in the 50–54 age group, but her placing was good enough to count for the gold medal as she was one of the team’s first four runners home.
William Larkin also impressed in finishing ninth in a strong men’s under-20 race, an improvement of seven positions from last year. Larkin’s time of 26 minutes 44 seconds was 2min 26sec faster than his 2022 effort.
The depth of the field was highlighted by five athletes who represented New Zealand at the world cross-country champs earlier this year also competing.