St Matthew’s Collegiate celebrating against Wairarapa College. PHOTO/JAMES CRAWLEY
The St Matthew’s Collegiate First XI hockey team will get the chance to defend their premier 1 title this week after beating Wairarapa College in a thrilling play-off match on Friday night.
St Matthew’s coach Phil Hall had said he expected another tight contest between the two teams, and that is exactly what happened as St Matthew’s escaped with a narrow 2-1 win to book a place in Friday’s final against Wellington Girls’ College.
The result means St Matthew’s have a chance to go back-to-back after claiming last year’s title with a 1-0 win in the final against Queen Margaret College.
The final will be a massive challenge, however, as Wellington Girls’ College have been the dominant team throughout the season.
When the two teams last met at Clareville on July 2, Wellington Girls’ College won 2-0.
But St Matthew’s have plenty of talent on their team to get the job done, and anything can happen in a one-off playoff match.
Waicol will play off for third place this Friday against Wellington East Girls’ College.
In boys’ hockey, Rathkeale College and Waicol will meet one more time when they go head-to-head for fifth spot in this year’s premier 1 competition on Friday.
Rathkeale were already through to the fifth-place play-off after beating Waicol 3-1 in a playoff match on August 10, and Waicol joined them courtesy of Friday night’s 10-2 thrashing of Tawa College.
It was only late last month that Waicol beat Rathkeale 3-1 in a regular season match, so both teams will have plenty of reasons to head into the match with confidence.
Rathkeale played a friendly match against Scots College on Friday night and won 1-0.
All four teams will then prepare to head away for their respective Federation Cup and Rankin Cup tournaments in early September.
The Wairarapa College First XV played a Co-Ed Cup match against Manawatu College on Saturday and came away with an exciting 38-27 win.
The Wairarapa College First XI football team rounded out their campaign with a disappointing 1-8 loss to St Pat’s Town in Wellington.