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Waicol’s shootout win brings national title

Milestone men: Corban Parker, left, after leading the team for the 50th time, and Sam Murray who played his 100th match in the final. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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The Wairarapa College First XI boys’ football team produced their best football when it mattered most to win the secondary schools Trident Tournament at Palmerston North last week.

The competition was part of winter sports tournament week, and Waicol came out on top over 20 other teams.

Waicol won all six of their matches across the two pool stages, before beating Whanganui High School 1-0 in the semifinal, and Rosehill College on penalties in a thrilling final.

Waicol were down 0-1 at halftime in the final, but Sam Murray – playing his 100th match for the school – equalised in the second half.

The teams could not be separated in extra time, and Waicol won the penalty shootout 4-3.

Coach Aaron Perkins was delighted for his team.

“The week was fantastic – it was probably something I’ve targeted for two years with the group I’ve got.

“The conditions during the week were really difficult and challenging, and every day we rotated around different fields in Palmy because of the conditions. But we played some really good football.”

Captain Corban Parker also brought up a special milestone at the tournament, leading the side for the 50th time in the final match.

Perkins said his side had needed to play to their strengths against a big Rosehill team.

“Physically, they were a lot bigger than us, but we just played good football.

“Everything lined up for us, and it’s the first time we’ve won a tournament at that national level.”

The other football teams competing at different tournaments last week enjoyed various levels of success.

The Rathkeale College First XI went down 0-1 to Whangarei Boys’ High School in the final of the Rex Dawkins Tournament in Napier, while Kuranui College finished fourth at the 2nd XI tournament in New Plymouth.

On the girls’ side, St Matthew’s Collegiate finished third at the Gary Sowden Tournament in Blenheim.

Kuranui, Waicol and Solway College all contested the Grant Jarvis Tournament in Whanganui, finishing fourth, eighth and 22nd respectively.

The St Matthew’s Collegiate First XI hockey team put up a strong showing to finish 14th at the Federation Cup tournament in Whangarei, with Waicol coming fourth in the second-tier Marie Fry Trophy.

Solway College finished third at the Rosemary O’Brien Cup in Gisborne, while the Kuranui girls’ team finished seventh at the Kate Trolove Cup in Stratford.

In boys’ hockey, Waicol finished third in the second-tier India Shield competition, while Rathkeale finished 12th.

In netball, Waicol finished 23rd in the A-grade of the Lower North Island Secondary Schools Netball tournament, and St Matthew’s finished 11th in the B-grade at the same event.

The Waicol First XV rugby team retained the Captain’s Cup for the fifth year in a row and the Rathkeale Colts team finished second at their annual under-15 tournament.

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