It has been a notable start to the hockey season for Tauranga Boys’ College with the main national tournaments still to come.
For the first time the school’s Second XI has triumphed in the competitive Peter Stafford Cup, which is contested by the top teams from Tauranga Boys’ College, Mount Maunganui College, Katikati College, Papamoa College, Otumoetai College, Aquinas College and Te Puke College.
With Tauranga Boys’ flagship First XI competing in the Premier Men’s competition, where they finished in third place, it was up to the seconds and under-15 orange teams to carry the school banner.
The Second X1 under the able captaincy of Aidan Everitt went through pool play undefeated in eight matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding just five.
In the final they came up against cross town rivals and favourites Otumoetai College First XI. They quickly took control of the match with three quick goals putting them 3-0 ahead at the break and the final was as good as over.
Otumoetai did get one goal back in the second half but the spoils went to Tauranga Boys’ who became the first Second XI team to win the Peter Stafford Cup.
Teacher in charge of hockey Rob Leslie says they have probably got more depth across the whole Second XI and the under-15 team which is giving that consistency of performance.
“The First XI is on the trophy more than anyone else so for the seconds to win is great. (Captain) Aidan is showing really good leadership with the group and it has been good to have some continuity in the coaching.”
Next up for the Tauranga Boys’ seconds is the Midlands Intercity competition in preparation for the Galletly Cup national Second XI competition to be held in Oamaru in September.
“We have never won the Galletly Cup. We are definitely going to be contenders this year. It is always a pretty tough competition,” says Rob.
The other national title that Tauranga Boys’ have yet to win is the Rankin Cup which features New Zealand’s best First XIs in one tournament full of future Black Sticks.
This year’s event is in Christchurch from September 2-7.
Rob believes it may be a year too soon for Tauranga Boys’ young First XI but there is no shortage of talent in the team.
“The premier men’s competition is giving them good hard hockey week in, week out, which is what they need to be at their best for Rankin. We certainly hope to be up in the top eight and once you’re there you have to have a bit of luck running your way to win those tournaments.
“It might just be our time to have some luck.”