The Regional boys and girls have had the perfect start to their campaigns with both teams notching up a couple of wins from their first two games. The Association girls had a bit of a nervous start but came away with a win from their first game while the Association boys didn’t have the greatest of starts and suffered a loss first up.
The Regional boys came out firing in their first game of the tournament on Sunday against Midlands and played confidently right from the first whistle, Lucca Burley scoring from a PC direct hit in just the 3 minute. Matthew Ellis then chimed in with a well taken field goal to see the Red and Blacks finish the 1st quarter with a 2-0 buffer. Another 2 goals in the second quarter, a Lewis Edmond field goal and a second PC from Burley had the boys comfortably ahead 4-0 at the halftime break. Things unravelled slightly in the 3rd quarter as captain Etienne Harrington-Watt was given a yellow card for a subbing/card blunder leaving the team to play with only 9 against a Midlands team who subbed their keeper and scored a couple of quick goals to put Canterbury under a bit of pressure. But with normality returning Burley slotted his third for the game and secured a comfortable 5-2 win. Yesterday saw them take on Auckland and again the boys started with a hiss and a roar executing two well-orchestrated goals in the first half – a PC to Joe Morrison in the 1st minute and a field goal to Harrison Darling just before halftime – to give them a 2-1 lead going into the break. Darling extended the lead immediately after halftime before Auckland got themselves onto level pegging with goals in the 37th and 50th minutes to set up an exciting last 10 minutes. The Red and Blacks kept their heads however and Lucca Burley sealed their second win with a drag flick into the bottom left of the Auckland goal. They now sit comfortably at the top of Pool B and face Northland at 12pm today in their last pool game.
The Regional girls also started with a bang against Midlands in their first game of the tournament on Sunday, Anoushka Chiswell opening the scoring with a well taken field goal in the 4th minute. Midlands hit back in the 2nd quarter to level the scores before Bella Ambrosius finished off a PC to see the girls go into the break with a 2-1 lead. Midlands again pulled one back in the 3rd quarter to equalise before the game became on-way traffic to the Red and Blacks in the final quarter. A field goal to ex-Midlands player Ruby Evans in the 47th minute, followed by two more in quick succession from Payton Anderson and Olivia Paterson saw the girls run out comfortable 5-2 winners. Their second game saw the girls up against their South Island counterparts Southern and the Red and Blacks took a while to get up some steam with no goals until halfway through the 2nd quarter when Brittany Wang converted a PC drag flick, followed quickly by a cracker of a shot from the top of the circle from Payton Anderson in the 26th minute. Bella Ambrosius finished off the scoring with her second of the tournament in the 47th minute. The girls now play Auckland, who are also undefeated, at 1pm today to find the winner of pool B.
The Association boys started nervously in their first game of their tournament yesterday as Southern poured on the pressure right from the whistle and got themselves on the scoreboard in the 3rd minute. The Canterbury lads then took control of the 2nd quarter and were rewarded with an equaliser just before halftime, Hamish Church slotting home a field goal in the 29th minute. They again dominated the 3rd quarter but with no reward before the game seesawed in the final quarter as each team scrambled for the winner. With chances going begging for both teams it was the Southern boys who grabbed the 3 points in the final minute of the game. A much better performance this morning saw the boys dominate the match right from the start. A field goal to Cameron Slee in the 19th minute opened the scoring followed by a couple more in quick succession, Oliver King notching his first goal of the tournament from the field and Josef Trejbal converting a PC saw the boys go into the halftime break with a handy 3-0 lead. They continued to apply the pressure in the second half of the match with Cameron Slee grabbing his second in the 40th minute, followed by field goals to Matthew Wilson, Liam Adams and Liam Porter in the 45th, 47th and 51st mins respectively to see the boys run out very comfortable 7-0 winners. They face North Harbour in their last pool match tomorrow at 11.45am.
The Association girls are looking for a three-peat this year and also had a nervous start to their campaign yesterday against Bay of Plenty. A well taken field goal from Lucy Roberts late in the 2nd quarter gave them a bit of breathing space going into the halftime break. But this was short-lived as Bay of Plenty pegged one back 3mins after the break. The game then see-sawed as both teams pressed for the advantage and it was the Red and Blacks who broke the deadlock, Isabella House slotting home the winner from a PC on the stroke of fulltime. With a first win under their belt they should go into their next pool match against Waikato Development at 2.45pm today full of confidence.