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Respectable results for Wairarapa juniors

HOCKEY

Wairarapa finished a credible seventh at the National Under-18 Women’s Hockey Championship in Auckland which finished on Saturday.

Wairarapa qualified for the top eight after finishing the second-ranked second-placed team after pool play, with two wins over Central Otago [1-0] and Southland [4-0], and a 5-2 loss to Canterbury B.

That set up a quarterfinal against Hawke’s Bay, which they lost 4-1. A 1-0 loss to Otago confined Wairarapa to a playoff against Taranaki for seventh-eighth.

Taranaki took the lead after nine minutes with a field goal, and it took until the 37th minute for Wairarapa to equalise through a penalty corner [PC] to Emma McLeod. There was no further scoring, sending the match to a sudden death shootout.

Vanessa Taylor and McLeod converted their attempts; however, the real hero was goalkeeper Rebekah Murphy, who saved all four Taranaki attempts. giving Wairarapa a deserved victory.

There wasn’t such good news from the Men’s Under 18 Tournament in Dunedin, where Wairarapa finished 16th of 21 teams.

Wairarapa were fourth in their five-team pool, with only one win, over Central Otago 2-0 and three losses to Auckland B [5-0], Tauranga [4-2] and Northland [1-0]. They were then beaten 2-0 by Canterbury A in their first playoff game, followed by a 3-1 loss in a shootout to North Harbour 2 after the game finished 1-1.

In the 15th-16th playoff with Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa took a 2-0 lead with both goals to Cohen Scott, but Bay of Plenty fought back to force a shootout. Both teams scored four of their five regulation attempts, sending the shootout to sudden death. Bay of Plenty nailed both opportunities, but Wairarapa stumbled on their second, giving their opponents the victory.

NETBALL

The Wairarapa under-14 and under-16 had meritorious top-six finishes at the North Island Junior Netball Championships in New Plymouth last week.

The under-14s were fifth in the B Grade Championship, winning four and losing only two of their round-robin matches. The wins came against Otorohanga [19-12], Manawatu Black [19-14], Whanganui Waiti [23-2], and Matamata [20-15], while they were beaten by Whangarei [19-13] and Auckland 1 [15-10].

That set up a fifth-sixth playoff against Thames Valley B, with Wairarapa coming out on top 25-19.

Wairarapa topped off a successful tournament, winning the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, and umpire Maia Cullen was selected to officiate the Under-14 A Grade final.

One of the highlights of the under-16s tournament was the selection of the talented goal shoot-attack Maggie Shields in the Combined B and C Grade tournament team.

The Wairarapa College sharpshooter led the way for her team as they went unbeaten in the first round of pool play, with wins over Waiuku [24-13], Tauranga B [33-18], and Papakura B [28-26].

Wairarapa then finished runners-up in the second round with wins over Thames Valley B [33-14] and Gisborne [27-24] and a narrow 24-22 loss to Howick-Pakuranga. They then played Papakura B again in their semifinal, prevailing 28-25, to progress to the fifth-sixth playoff with Hamilton City B, which they lost 31-22.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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