Ford NHC 2023 wraps up with action packed finales

The Ford National Hockey Championship wrapped up this past weekend as Waikato Hockey played host to a week of intense action. Our top domestic tournament brought together some of the nation’s finest athletes, delivering some nail-biting matches, upsets, and moments of brilliance.

In the men’s competition, Otago successfully defended the Challenge Shield, clinching back-to-back Tier 1 titles. The final against Canterbury was a tense affair, ending with Otago securing a narrow 2-1 victory. James Nicolson emerged as the hero, netting two crucial field goals.

Promotion and relegation added intrigue to the tournament. Hawke’s Bay’s men’s team faced relegation from Tier 1 in a battle with Auckland, while Northland earned promotion from Tier 2, despite losing their final to Canterbury B. League rules prevent Canterbury B’s promotion due to an association not being able to have two teams in a Tier.

In the women’s competition, Auckland clinched the K Cup for the first time since2015. They secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory against North Harbour, with Rocio Gonzalez and Izzy Gill providing the crucial goals.

North Harbour B secured victory in the Tier 2 final over Canterbury, showcasing the depth of talent that NZ has available.

There was no promotion or relegation in the women’s comp due to both teams being ‘B’ teams.

Waikato Hockey played a crucial role as hosts, ensuring the event’s success. The local community turned out in large numbers, creating a vibrant atmosphere that added to the overall spectacle. 

As the Otago men celebrated their back-to-back triumph and Auckland women reclaimed the K Cup, this year’s championships will be remembered as a strong display of talent. The competition showed hockey in New Zealand is vibrant and promises more excitement in the future.

Tier 1 Men

  1. Otago
  2. Canterbury
  3. North Harbour
  4. Waikato
  5. Wellington
  6. Manawatu
  7. Auckland
  8. Hawke’s Bay

Tier 1 Women

  1. Auckland
  2. North Harbour
  3. Canterbury
  4. Manawatu
  5. Hawke’s Bay
  6. Wellington
  7. Waikato
  8. Otago

Tier 2 Men

  1. Canterbury B
  2. Northland
  3. Tauranga
  4. North Harbour B
  5. South Canterbury
  6. Wellington B
  7. Counties Manukau
  8. Tasman
  9. Waikato B
  10. Otago B
  11. Bay of Plenty
  12. Taranaki

Tier 2 Women

  1. North Harbour B
  2. Canterbury B
  3. Wairarapa
  4. Tasman
  5. Southland
  6. Taranaki
  7. Counties Manukau
  8. Northland
  9. Waikato B


Posted on Sunday, 17 September, 2023 | Feature