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A worthy contest for team awards

Today, CHRIS COGDALE profiles the finalists in the Youth and Senior Sports Team categories of the Wairarapa Times-Age Sports Awards.


St Matthews 1st XI Hockey

St Matthew’s Collegiate won the Manawatu Intercity Secondary School Championship, involving the best teams from Manawatu, Wairarapa, Whanganui, and Horowhenua.

St Matt’s qualified top qualifiers and turned on the class in the final, thrashing Feilding High School 6-1.

St Matt’s also finished 13th at the Federation Cup. Unbeaten in pool play, St Matt’s drew the powerful Christchurch Girls High School in their first crossover match, going down 5-1 and relegating the team to the ninth -16th playoffs, eventually finishing 13th.

Solway College
Equestrian Team

The Solway College equestrian team finished third out of 49 at the 2022 North Island secondary schools championships.

The team of Vianne Downs, Elyza McDonald, Ella Bashford, Bridie King and Isabella Behrns held off strong challenges from much bigger schools to get the podium finish.

The championships, held over five days, featured show jumping, dressage and eventing, with consistent top-five placings across the week from all team members contributing to the team result.

Wairarapa College A Netball

Wairarapa College became the first secondary school team to win back-to-back Wairarapa premier one championships with a commanding 47-37 win
over Celtic in the final.

The win came after an intense week of tournament play at the Lower North Island secondary school championships in Napier, where they finished a credible 17th.

Waicol dropped only two games – to the two eventual finalists Manukura from Palmerston North and Hastings Girls High School – over the five days.

Wairarapa College
Girls 1st XI Hockey

Waicol took pride of place in finishing fourth, and the only co-ed school in the top eight, in the elite Federation Cup tournament in Hawke’s Bay.

Waicol qualified for the top 16 Federation Cup section with two wins in pool play. That set up a crossover clash with Hamilton Girls High School, which was won 5-0.

A nailbiting quarterfinal against Wellington Girls College was won 4-3 in a shootout after the game finished in a 1-1 draw.

In the semifinal against eventual champions Christchurch Girls High School, Waicol were beaten 2-0. They then went down 4-0 to St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland, in the third-fourth playoff. SENIOR SPORTS TEAM

Giants Blue

Giants Blue completed a dominant season, winning the Intercity premier two title in style.
Under the guidance of player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana, Giants Blue proved too good for most opposition, dropping only one championship game throughout the season to qualify in the top spot for the finals.

In the decider at South Park against surprise finalists Demons, Giants Blue were in a different class, clearing out for a 7-0 victory in five innings.

Greytown FC
Men’s 1st Team

In 2022, the Greytown Football Club’s Men’s first team finished the season with just two losses on their way to second place behind runaway winners Wellington United in Capital Football division four.

Coached by Gary Hewson, the team won 13 of 18 games with just three draws and two losses, 13 points ahead of third-placed Island Bay.

In a normal season, Greytown would have been automatically promoted, but due to a league reshuffle, they had to wait until just four weeks before the 2023 season started to have promotion to Capital Division Three confirmed.

Martinborough Bowling Club Men’s Fours

The Martinborough men’s four came within a whisker of winning the national champion of champions title, losing a close final 18-17 to Paritutu from New Plymouth.

The team of Garry Muriwai, Scott MacKenzie, Mark O’Brien, and Hayden Frew qualified for post-section play with three wins from four games. In the quarterfinal, they beat Omarunui [Napier] 17-16 and then made the decider with a 13-10 semifinal victory over Tauranga South.

Martinborough qualified for the nationals by winning the Champion of Champions Wairarapa Men’s Fours.

Martinborough Women’s Interclub Bowls Team

The Martinborough Bowling Club women’s interclub team turned in a stunning performance to finish fourth in the New Zealand Interclub Championships in 2022.

The result was even more outstanding, given that the tiny Martinborough Bowling Club that had no active female playing members in 2018. After rebuilding its membership, the club entered a team in the women’s interclub competition during the 2021-22 season.

The team had made the national finals by first winning the Wairarapa competition, then the broader regional competition against teams from Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, and Gisborne East Coast.

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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