Basketball- 3×3 Champs, Tauranga
Our Junior Girls and Junior Boys teams competed in the NZ Basketball 3×3 Champs from Wednesday to Friday. It really was a whirlwind 3 days with the teams playing up to 6 games in one day.
The teams worked together well and stood up to the competition well. The Junior Girls had some exceptional games and ended their campaign with a tough final for 3rd place. With the score at 5 – 5 at full time, it was down to extra time. First team to score 2 points would win 3rd place. AC and St Peters both scored one each. It then came down to two three throws from Anika Hyland. After missing the first, she composed herself to make the second shot and for the girls to take our 3rd place in the Girls Open Division.
The Boys had a harder journey through the competition facing some tough opponents and not quite being able to pull through the skills of many of the bigger schools. After a great week, the boys managed to finish 10th out of 20 teams in the Junior Boys Open Division.
Cricket – Northern Districts Gillette Cup, Rotorua
Our 1st XI team started their summer tournament with a narrow 2 wicket win over Kamo High School. The day belonged to batting maestro, Fergus Lellman who scored 100 not out off 88 balls to see us home. Earlier in the innings Joel Hayes scored a well complied 44 in an opening partnership of 107 off only 13 overs. A mid innings slump saw us lose 6 wickets for 10 runs as we attempted the classic Aquinas cricketing move of ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’. However, when Harrison McGregor came in, Lellman finally found a partner and the two put on 52 runs to see us home.
The second day saw a frustrating game for the Aquinas 1st XI in Rotorua. After dominating three quarters of the game, ultimately we came up 49 runs short against a strong St Pauls side. Winning the toss and bowling on a damp pitch proved the right call as our opening bowls secured early wickets to have St Pauls 37 for 3 in the 11th. Tight bowling and committed fielding saw us apply pressure in the middle overs and at 135 for 6 we were well on top. In the end we bowled them out for 193. A great effort against one of the stronger sides in the competition. Top bowlers were Fergus Lellman who took 5 for 21 and Spencer Wills with 2 for 29.
In reply our top order of Fergus Lellman, Joel Hayes and Spencer Wills put us in a strong position and after 35 overs we were well placed at 119 for 2. However, some excellent slow bowling and well taken catches from St Pauls saw us struggle to put any partnerships together and gain any momentum. In the end we were bowled out for 144 in the 45th over.
Losing the toss, with cloud cover and low bounce our batsman found it hard to gain any momentum. Regular wickets ensured St Peters kept us at bay and in the end we managed to score 158. Top scorers were Fergus Lellman (31), Toby Taylor (29), Finn Dempsey(23) and W Ides (24).
Once in the field, Aquinas managed to chip away at the St Peter’s batting order regularly. But defending a relatively small total mean that they were always in with a shout. At 56 for 1 St Peters looked in charge, but 4 quick wickets suddenly meant it was 77 for 5.
Despite dropping several catches in the field, two run-outs in the middle of the innings to fielding wizard Finn Dempsey, swung the game in our favour. The game was finally finished off with 3 wickets falling in the last three deliveries
Aquinas College secured a top four finish for the second year in a row at the Northern Districts Gillette Cup finals with a 27 run victory over St Peter’s Cambridge. With rain dampening the end of the Tournament, Aquinas had a great tournament finishing 3rd = in 2019.
Rowing – Maadi Cup, Karapiro
A relatively young crew headed to the Maadi Cup in Karaprio for Summer Tournament Week, which I believe is the biggest Secondary School Sporting Event in the Southern Hemisphere! They were all very excited about the week ahead and the first experience of Maadi for majority of the team.
It was a big week for Scott Clark and Nat Barry who in their first year of rowing, had a great time at Maadi. They placed 5th in their U15 Double Scull, but unfortunately couldn’t quite compete with the more experienced rowers in the repechage.
Stella Janissen banished her demons in the U16 single sculls with a truly dominant first place in the B Final. She had clear water behind her, winning her race in style. A fantastic performance! She places 9th out of a field of 58 rowers in the U16 single.
Aoife Taylor finished the day for us with a solid 5th place in the B Final of the U17 single. That places her 13th in the country. She has made immense progress this year and has developed an incredible sprint finish!
Stella Janissen and Aoife Taylor then joined forces to compete in the U17 Double Sculls. Placing 2nd in their heat, 3rd in the Quarter Final and then 5th in the Semi, lead them into the B Final to pull off a great race resulting in 3rd place in the B Final.
Anton Bernard, Callum Tutbury, Scott Clark, Nat Barry and Aine joined together for the U18 Novice Quad. After a stellar comeback in the repechage placing 3rd, they made it through to the B Final to place 2nd overall.
Callum Tutbury rowed outstandingly through the week. In only his first year of competitive rowing, he has made an A Final at Maadi! Some rowers can only ever dream of achieving that. It was a great final but the other guys were on fire. He ends the week having placed an amazing 6th place out of a total of 74 entrants in the U17 single. Outstanding for a first year rower.
In the U15 Novice Quad, Mia Finlayson, Charlize Tutbury, Riley Elliot-Lowe, Georgie Gash and Aine Taylor rowed their fastest race of the regatta in the A Final. Unfortunately, the other crews had eaten their spinach overnight and powered down that course. Our girls just couldn’t catch ‘em! They end their campaign with an 8th place overall.
The same crew competed in the U18 Novice Quad, and also made the A Final. After a sensational week together they finished 6th in the U18 Novice Quad.
Callum Tutury & Anton Bernard were up there in the fight for third place in their A Final……a hiccup with the blade work, a loss of momentum and they fell back with only 300m to go. A final placing of 7th in the U18 Novice Double Sculls. Unfortunately, that’s novice rowing! They looked great and are ready to get out there and do it all again next season.
What a great week! 7 days of adrenalin and anticipation. The end of the regatta saw our crews compete in a total of 4 A Finals and 4 B Finals. A fantastic achievement!
No medals this time round, but this is Secondary Schools National Champs and our Aquinas rowers have lined up against the best that school rowing has to offer from the all of the North and the South Island combined. It is a seriously tough competition and even harder to come away with a medal from Maadi. We gained some amazing placings and our novice crews really learnt how the pace steps up when the South Island comes to town!
The Maadi Cup itself was won by the Boys’ 8 from Christchurch Boys High School. They just sneaked ahead of Christ’s College on the line. The Girls’ 8 was won by St Margaret’s College.
All of the rowers, and their parents, absolutely loved the experience! There were a few tears but far far more smiles. They are all really keen and excited to do it all again.
Next year’s Maadi takes place on the glacial waters of Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. A stunning venue, often voted as the place most rowers love to compete. Can’t wait!
Water Polo – North Island Secondary Schools Championships, Auckland
The senior girls and boys water polo team travelled to Auckland on Thursday 21 March to compete in the North Island secondary schools water polo champs. History was made as it was the first Aquinas all girls team to compete in Division one at this level. With an evolving team and a different coach, the girls really had a great tournament placing 11th out of 15 teams. This qualifies then for the premier school girls’ nationals held in Auckland in two weeks. The Boys team had some hard fought losses to begin the tournament and some very close games to finish 12 overall.
Overall a valuable learning experience for both teams and good luck for nationals. Special mention to Julie Simpson, Kellie Low, Amanda Lemon, Kev and Michelle Schuler and Kurt Kennedy for managing and coaching the teams while away.