News / Blog

WHS 1st XI Hockey Chica Gilmer Tournament

9 September 2016
WHS 1st XI Hockey Chica Gilmer Tournament

Whakatane High School's 1st XI Hockey girls competed in the 17 team Chica Gilmer Tournament in Mount Maunganui, this year. Since winning the tournament in 2012 recent results have been less than impressive. Senior students; Cian Hart, Brooke Bridges and Ngahuia Muru, who were members of the 2012 Championship team, lead a young squad hoping for an improved result on the previous year.

In their first pool match against John Paul College (JPC), from Rotorua, the girls were favourites having beaten them on three previous occasions in the local competition. However, JPC had other plans. The game was end to end attacking punctuated with penalty corners with both teams failing to score. Whakatane’s Katie Reid, named “Player of the Day” came close on separate occasions in the first half but this proved to be a match of few chances and narrow misses. Nil all after 60 minutes of play, one would say, was a fair result but disappointing for Whakatane. Fortunately for both teams, the game between Auckland’s Macleans and Carmel Colleges who were in the same pool, also ended in a draw meaning all four teams went into the second round on even points

The girls round two game against North Shore's Carmel College had a promising start with an early goal from a well timed deflection by Anna Manning. Carmel equalized soon after and then, regrettably, Carmel scored two further goals in the second half which left the team reflecting on another disappointing result but ultimately beaten by a better side on the day. Having to recover quickly from their defeat and a solitary point from the draw against JPC, Whakatane was still in with a slim chance of making the “Top 8”. However their opponents Macleans College, on two points, were also desperate for a win. The girls were well aware that their fate relied on winning their final pool match and Carmel, who was now the top of their pool, beating JPC in the match to follow. As with previous pool matches the round three clash with Macleans was a close encounter. Whakatane had numerous scoring chances and circle penetrations. It was a strongly hit ball by Ngahuia Muru from the edge of the circle that proved to be the difference on the day and the only goal scored in the match. With the win the girls ended the pool on four points. Their fate now rested on the Carmel and JPC result which also proved to be a close encounter. Luckily for the girls Carmel won catapulting them to second place in their pool and playing for a top eight finish - their best result since winning the tournament four years ago.

After the elation and some surprise of reaching the top eight the girls realised they would need to be at their best to progress further in the tournament. Their crossover match with Woodford House would be a tough challenge. In pool play Woodford drew 1-1 with Western Heights who were the favourites. Whakatane scored first, early in the half, through a strike from Ngahuia but Woodford quickly equalised. Whakatane scored again in the first half through a PC, as did Woodford. In the second half Whakatane’s defensive efforts by Julia Spring, Cian Hart and Rhiannon Kohunui kept Woodford scoreless. Amazingly at the end of regular time, the girls found themselves in not only the “Top 8” but with a chance of making “Top 4”.

Whakatane started with the ball but  the first period of extra time ended with both teams unable to find the back of the net. It may have been Whakatane’s tactics, or the pressure of the situation, because unfortunately it was Woodford who would score a cracking goal in the second minute of double extra time. After the game the girls were absolutely gutted in the knowledge they had come so close to a top four finish.

Tournaments can be harsh emotionally, if you're down you often have to get up and do it again the next day. With the dissatisfaction of the previous day’s loss the girls had to pick themselves up and take on Wellington East Girls College. With a win Whakatane could still finish fifth but the emotional toll of the day before may have proved too much as they conceded three goals in the first half and were unable to recover. The disappointment  and a very organised and determined opposition proved too difficult for the girls to overcome.

Whakatane still had a lot to play for in their final match. A rematch against Carmel College, who had beaten WHS, started confidently making numerous attacks into Whakatane’s half testing their defensive structure. Georgia Berben and Alison Brown were resolute clearing and cleaning up Carmel’s attack. Whakatane’s attack was not to be outdone with a number of breakouts by Ngahuia Muru, Pasha Von Beck and Maddison Herdman. Whakatane’s first opportunity to score came in the first half with the referee awarding them a penalty corner, but they were unable to convert it. The second half was characterised with strong defence, attacking turnovers for both teams and chances to score. By the end of regular time, neither team was able to find the back of the net. This sent the Whakatane girls into extra time for the second time in the tournament. Perhaps it was the reminder of the previous game's “extra time” disappointment as urgency seemed more obvious from the Whakatane players. The first period was once again an even contest with the best opportunity coming from a PC awarded to Whakatane. From the resulting drag Ngahuia Muru trapped and swept the ball into the goal hitting the back of the net.  The team immediately celebrated thinking they had won, only to be pulled back for the shot being too high - sending the game to seven aside,  ‘golden goal” double extra time. Whakatane started the second period with the ball. On the whistle Ngahuia dribbled towards the goal drawing a free hit. Taking the free hit she then dribbled to the top of the circle, dragged left and carried the ball into the circle sending a reversed hit that scoried in the top left corner. This sent her teammates and management into raptures.

A remarkable finish for a young team lead by a committed management team and its senior players. The school’s best result since winning the competition four years ago and the highest ranked finish by any Whakatane and Rotorua High School Girls Hockey team in 2016.

Search Site
Report an Absence

Report an Absence

Report an
Absence

Click here

Enrol Now

Enrol Now

Enrol
Now

Click here

Request a  Prospectus

Request a Prospectus

Request a
Prospectus

Click here

Latest News

Cheers

Cheers

Thanks to the following for their support

 

Lest We Forget

Lest We
Forget

Remembering our students