Wild weather wreaks havoc for Under-18 finals

Wild weather in both Wellington and Hamilton wreaked havoc on finals day of the Vantage National Under-18 Men’s and Women’s Tournaments.

The women’s final in Wellington on Saturday between North Harbour and Auckland was abandoned at three-quarter time with the title shared between the two teams, while in Hamilton the final was moved to St Paul’s Collegiate where North Harbour were 2-0 victors over Canterbury.

Vantage Under-18 women
In the capital, torrential rain and major wind warnings meant many of the final playoff matches were sadly abandoned.

In awful conditions the final did go ahead between North Harbour and Auckland Blue, and both teams had chances in the first half with the goalkeepers forced to make crucial saves.

Near the end of the third quarter the heavens opened with power, and with the turf now completely underwater the match was abandoned with the scores locked at 0-0.

The Amanda Hooper Memorial Trophy will now spend half a year in the North Harbour trophy cabinet before making its way across the bridge to the home of Auckland hockey.

In the earlier bronze medal match, Canterbury were 3-1 victors over Waikato thanks to goals from Ella Illerbrun, Niamh McKenzie and Hayley McKellow. Canterbury had come off a tight 2-1 loss to North Harbour in the semifinal while Waikato had lost 2-0 to Auckland Blue in the other semi.

The top goal-scorer in the tournament was Hawke’s Bay’s Hannah Cotter with 12 goals.

Final results and standings available here

Vantage Under-18 men

Not to be outdone by the wild weather in the capital, Hamilton also faced torrential rain. The Gallagher Hockey Centre was soon under water which forced the abandonment of the playoffs for fifth-sixth and seventh-eighth.

The medal matches were then moved to St Paul’s Collegiate where the turf was in a better playing condition.

The final saw the two early tournament favourites North Harbour and Canterbury battling it out. After very even early exchanges, North Harbour captain Scott Cosslett found the back of the net for the eighth time in the week – this time from a penalty stroke.

Harbour grabbed another minutes later with Rocco Ludolph making it 2-0. Canterbury came back in the second half with a string of penalty corners, but Harbour proved too strong taking home the gold medal and the Paul Ackerley Memorial Trophy.

The earlier bronze medal match saw Otago, who had come off a tight semifinal loss to neighbours Canterbury 2-1, up against Hawke’s Bay, who gone down 5-0 to Harbour in the other semifinal.

Hawke’s Bay found themselves on the scoreboard first through Callum O’Keeffe, however Otago showed their class with three more goals to Jack Cotton, Sam Gradwell and Patrick Ward to take the bronze medal with a 3-1 victory.

The top goal-scorer in the tournament was Taranaki’s Jordan Whittleston with 10 goals.

Final results and standings available here

And finally, a big thank you to all the tournament’s officials for all your efforts, and to our two hosts – Waikato Hockey and Wellington Hockey – for putting on two amazing events.

Posted on Sunday, 18 July, 2021 | CommunityFeatureOther