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Wairarapa College continue proud legacy

Cohen Scott was third top goal scorer at Rankin Cup-India Shield tournament. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

HOCKEY

The top Wairarapa College hockey teams capped a successful sporting week, with outstanding results at their national tournaments, to go with their netball team winning their second consecutive Wairarapa premier one title.

The Waicol girl’s hockey first XI 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, continuing their proud legacy in the Federation Cup, being only one of two schools to win the premier national title five times.

Waicol qualified for the top 16 Federation Cup section with two wins in pool play. First, they defeated Manawatu Intercity rivals and runners-up Feilding High School 3-0.

In their next two outings Waicol lost to eventual runners-up St Margaret’s College from Christchurch 0-3 and thumped Sacred Heart New Plymouth 7-1 to finish second in their pool.

That set up a crossover clash with Hamilton Girls High School which Waicol won 5-0 to progress into top eight. A nail-biting quarter final against Wellington Girls College finished 1-1 at fulltime and progressed into a shootout which Waicol won 4-3 with all their shooters scoring and goalkeeper Lou Lou McNelly dominating the opposition.

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

Waicol director of hockey Willie Schaefer put the results down to the team’s guts and determination to win every game.

“They showed the ability to grind down opposition and outwork them,” Schaefer said.

“This was identified by many people at the tournament, who showed surprise that a state co-ed school from Wairarapa could compete on the national stage.”

Hannah Donald played her 100th game for the Waicol first XI at the Federation Cup tournament.

Schaefer said Hannah Donald, who last month was named in a NZ Hockey Under-18 development squad, and brought up her 100th cap for Waicol at the tournament, and was one of the large group of Year 13 students who wrapped up their college hockey careers on a high, stood out in the outstanding performance.

St Matthew’s Collegiate also qualified for the top 16. Unbeaten in pool play St Matt’s drew the powerful Christchurch GHS in their first crossover match, going down 1-5 and relegating the Manawatu Intercity champions to the ninth-16th playoffs, eventually finishing 13th.

In the boys Rankin Cup-Indian Shield tournament in North Harbour, Waicol lost to Auckland secondary schools champions, Auckland Grammar 3-4 after being down 0-4 at halftime, coming close to forcing a draw in the final seconds.

They then lost 0-4 to eventual champions and tournament favourites Westlake Boys High School, who were undefeated all season. Captain Alex Clark achieved the rare feat of playing his 100th game for the team in that game.

Waicol won the last game of pool play against St Peter’s Cambridge 6-1 and finished third in their pool and qualified for the India Shield.

In the first crossover game, Waicol dismantled Lindisfarne College 7-3. In the quarterfinals, they played Whanganui Collegiate and won 2-1 to progress to a semifinal against Paraparaumu College, which they won 3-0.

The final was against St Bede’s College, Christchurch, with Waicol finishing the stronger to win 2-1 and be crowned India Shield Champions.

Cohen Scott finished third highest goal scorer in the tournament with 12 goals. Clark and Scott had also previously ben recognised with their selection for the NZ Hockey under-18 development camps.

Schaefer said the feature of the team’s success was their determination and effort shown throughout the tournament, demonstrating a never-give-up, gutsy attitude.

Rathkeale finished 23rd after a third placing in their pool with a win and losses. Rathkeale completed the tournament with a 3-0 win over Whanganui Collegiate.

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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