Teams raise sticks and sharpen wits
Matamata College’s 1st XI hockey teams have done exceptionally well in their championships this year, with both the girls’ and boys’ teams beating schools that have full turfs to practise on.
It is difficult to imagine rugby or football teams having just a halffield for practices, yet that is what Matamata hockey players have to overcome to be competitive.
The boys’ 1st XI faced Hamilton Boys’ Argyle team in the final of the Waikato B Grade and after being 1-0 down at halftime, had to reach for something extra to please the coaches and supporters; and to silence the large group of Hamilton Boys’ supporters at the Gallagher Turf in Hamilton.
Solid defence from Matamata meant Hamilton were unable to score in the second half and a strong drive by all of the forwards two minutes from the end resulted in the winning goal.
Coaches Faye Mathews and Lynette Parish were delighted with the boys’ efforts for the season, since they came away with a record of nine wins from nine games in the championship round; and a result of 25 goals for and only nine against.
The girls’ 1st XI final was a much more dramatic event.
Having begun the season playing only Hamilton- based teams, they moved on to a new Division 2 Midlands competition that included teams from Counties and Tauranga.
Matamata defeated Te Aroha, Rosehill, Waikato Dio and Pukekohe, and faced oPukekohe again in the final.
Pukekohe High School has over 1500 students and a full turf for practice, so winning was no easy task.
The game went to extra time, but it came down to penalty strokes and two saves by goalkeeper Daisy Wills saw Matamata on top.
Girls’ 1st XI: