Vantage Under-18 Men’s and Women’s champions crowned

In a departure from last year’s horrendous finals-day weather, the 2022 Vantage Under 18s finals were played in relatively fine conditions in Nelson and Palmerston North on Saturday 16th July.

Canterbury 1 proved too strong for Hawke’s Bay in the women’s final on Saturday, winning 3-1, while in Palmerston North, North Harbour were 4-3 victors over Canterbury in the Men’s final to clinch their second title in two years.

Vantage Under-18 women

      • Umpires Malikah Davy (Wellington), Sabina East (North Harbour)
      • Reserve Umpire Amy Psalia (North Harbour)
      • Technical Official John Etherington (Auckland)

In sunny Nelson, Canterbury 1 and Hawke’s Bay locked horns in a torrid battle with Canterbury coming away with the win after some late heroics.

With three quarters remaining the scores were tied 1-1, with only one penalty corner between the sides. After 55 minutes, it looked as if the match was destined for a shootout before Arabelle McGuckin found the back of the net in the 56th minute to give Canterbury the 2-1 advantage. Sorell Shand then scored late in the game to clinch the match for Canterbury.

The Amanda Hooper Memorial Trophy will now spend the year in the Canterbury trophy cabinet, a fitting temporary home for an award named after a local Canterbury legend.

In the earlier bronze medal match, Wellington were 3-0 victors over Canterbury 2 thanks to goals from Sarah Jennings and a double from captain, Riana Pho. Wellington had come off a tight 0-1 loss to Hawke’s Bay in their semi-final while Canterbury 2 had lost 0-5 to Canterbury 1 in the other semi.

The top goal-scorer in the tournament was Canterbury’s Mezzy Surridge with 12 goals.

Final results and standings are available here.


Vantage Under-18 men

      • Umpires James Mountstevens (Canterbury), Caleb Hansen (Manawatu)
      • Reserve Umpire, Alex Stuart (Canterbury)
      • Technical Official Lyndsey Jones (Canterbury)

The 2022 Men’s final saw last year’s finalists, Canterbury and North Harbour, once again battling it out for national honours.

Harbour came out of the blocks flying, with captain Ryan Parr scoring early in the first quarter.  Rocco Ludolph grabbed a double just minutes later, making it 3-0 after just 12 minutes. Ludolph then clinched his hattrick mid-way through the 2nd quarter to give Harbour a commanding 4-0 lead going into the break.

Canterbury came back strong in the second half and showed a ton of courage, scoring 3 unanswered goals. It proved too little, too late however as Harbour held on to a 4-3 lead to secure the Paul Ackerley Memorial Trophy.

The earlier bronze medal match saw Waikato, who had come off a 4-1 semifinal loss to Canterbury, up against Otago, who had also gone down 4-1 to Harbour in the other semifinal.

Waikato looked in control from the outset, scoring two early 1st quarter goals courtesy of Cameron Bird and Blake Irwin. They added to their 2-0 advantage in the 4th quarter to seal 3rd place.

The top scorer in the tournament was Harbour’s Rocco Ludolph with an impressive 15 goals.

Final results and standings are available here.

And finally, a big thank you to all the tournament’s officials and volunteers for all your efforts, and to Nelson Hockey and Hockey Manawatu for hosting two amazing events.


Posted on Sunday, 17 July, 2022 | CommunityFeature