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6-a-side – Whangarei v Berkley
A hat trick of goals by Whangarei Intermediate’s Sam Lints was enough to see his school lift the mixed 6-a-side hockey title on the final day of the NZCT AIMS Games today.
Whangarei took on Berkley Normal Middle School in the final, both teams having come out of the same pool. Whangarei had won the pool game between the two sides 8-0 earlier in the week.
It wasn’t Whangarei’s biggest win though, that was an 18-0 walloping of little Oropi School in pool play.
Whangarei beat Taradale Intermediate 7-3 in the semi-finals, while Berkley had to overcome Glen Eden Intermediate in 3-0 a penalty shoot-out after their semi-final had ended 1-1.
Lints scored two in the first half, his first coming after Berkley’s Ben Allen had hit the goalpost on an early attack. Berkley came close to getting back into the game when Allen again his the goal frame and Benjamin McNamara came close tom putting the rebound away, but … scored his third shortly afterwards. Berkley goalkeeper Alexander Stokes had a fine game and without his efforts there would have been a repeat of the score from the pool game.
Boys’ final – Whakatane v Taupo
With Taupo leading the boys’ final 1-0 through a Sam Brassel goal, as the teams changed round at half time, there was little hint of the drama to come.
While Whakatane had had the odd salvo into the Taupo half, they hadn’t really threatened.
But they exploded with Lukas Buchan scoring from open play. After a weaving run, Vance Harvey made room for a shot on goal and scored a second just moments later.
With the game turned on its head, Taupo recovered to draw level through Marijn Lenoir, but there was more drama to come. Harvey repeated his move from earlier in the second half, attacking the defence and burying his shot in the final minute of the game to give the title to Whakatane.
Girls’ final – Tauranga v Heaton
The girls’ final that followed had an altogether different form of excitement – excitement born out of tension.
Tauranga had had taken the lead after a sweet through pass that split the defence was converted into a goal. It proved to be the only goal of the game.
Tauranga withstood wave after wave of Heaton attacks in the second half, but held fast to keep their record of not having conceded a goal throughout the tournament intact.
“It was so nerve wracking, but so exciting,” said Tauranga coach Monique Eades. “They are just a bunch of girls with guts, and a bit of magic once in a while.
“I didn’t really have to (say anything) they just wanted it – they knew what they could do, and they did it.”