Aquinas College was well represented at Winter Tournament week all around the North Island. It was a big week of competition and travel for many of our teams. Below is an update of the week from some of our teams.
The Junior Boys A basketball team participated in the Junior Premierships (Zone 2) at ASB Stadium, Mt Maunganui from Sept 1 – 4. The team (who were placed 2nd in the B1 Grade in the local competition) came up against several A Grade teams including Waihi College, Trident High School and Te Kura Kokiri. The boys competed strongly against much bigger opposition and played some fantastic basketball. Some strong team performances saw them beat Rotorua Boys and and Cambridge High School and lose narrowly to Trident after leading for much of the game. They eventually finished 4th in their pool which put them in the play-off for 7th and 8th against our local rivals Bethlehem College. Unfortunately, this wasn’t our best game and, although the boys gave it everything they weren’t able to get the win, losing 68-62. This was a disappointing way to finish a great tournament but the boys can be very proud of how far they have come this season. Huge thanks to Coach Carl Green, who has put so much time and effort into this team, and to all our supporters.
Football girls headed up to Auckland full of good cheer in the rain hail and wind! A fantastic tournament was had, on and off the pitch – great progress was shown in making shooting opportunities and the girls communicated well with each other. The absolute highlight would have to be the penalty shoot out on Thursday afternoon. A late equaliser by Lizzy resulted in a draw and the dreaded penalty shoot out. A fantastic save by Jess resulted in us winning 4-2. And with their tails up, the girls won their final game 3-0, which gave them 13th position out of 24 teams.
This year the Upper North Island Secondary Schools Netball tournament was held here in the Bay of Plenty. It was attended by 120 teams across 4 grades – it was fierce competition for our Premier Netball team.
We had a tough pool to start the week, coming up against Auckland Dio in our first game. After three tough games we had made the top 16 in our grade on a countback with JPC! The week ended with us taking 14th place (a 5 place improvement on last year) and the girls gave their all. Many thanks to the top quality coaching from Mrs.Gilbert and Mrs.Gallagher and to all the parents who came to support us each day. Bring on 2019!
Palmerston North really challenged us with the weather conditions that prevailed during the week. Having said that, it was the same for all so we had to get on with the job. With a number of first team players not available for Tournament, the AC spirit kicked in and the team can be very proud of their efforts during the week. We finished pool play with 2 wins and 1 heavy loss which left us 2nd in our pool and high hopes of getting in the top half of the Tournament. However due to goal difference, we ended up in the bottom half of the draw – disappointing. Our next 3 cross-over games were really tough encounters and the team battled well but could only get a draw and 2 losses which mean’t playing off for 13 – 16 position.
The final 2 games were nail-biters which resulted in losses by only 1 goal – disappointing results but not through lack of effort. Final place – 16th . Great effort and attitude from a very young team – lessons well learnt for future occasions !!
Hockey First XI
During Winter Tournament Week, the boys’ First XI hockey team travelled to Rotorua to compete in the Mayhill Cup. This tournament is always keenly contested as teams are vying for promotion into the tier one nationals the following year. We travelled with a relatively young team, but this youth was supported by a number of influential senior players. A first up match against Takapuna Grammar saw the team go down 0-3. Later that day, a match against Hillcrest High School, saw a similar result with our team losing 1-5. In both matches, our boys created opportunities, but weren’t clinical to take advantage of these opportunities. The next match was against Trident High School. Trident proved too good, running away winners 7-1. Coincidentally, Hillcrest High School and Trident High School proved their class throughout the week, meeting in the final on the last day. Our team then played Scots College and this was a tightly contested affair from start to finish. Unfortunately, the boys were unable to find the back of the net and this resulted in a narrow defeat 0-1. A final pool match saw our team evenly matched against Western Heights High School even though the final score didn’t necessarily reflect this, with us losing 2-4. A final match against Orewa College saw our young men go down valiantly 1-2. The match was symptomatic of the week where the team was competitive throughout, creating good opportunities, but failing to convert these opportunities into goals regularly enough. The improvement the team made throughout the season was impressive, if not evident in the results during this week. The benefits of playing at this tier of national tournament compared to the lower tier will be realised in the future as the young team matures. Special mention must be made of Josh Sutherland, Fergus Lellman and Max Greer for their consistent strong performances throughout the week.