Congratulations to all our U15 teams who will play in semi-finals today!
After finishing top of Pool A the U15A girls found themselves up against a feisty Waikato team (complete with sideline cowbells!) in their quarter-final yesterday morning (Thursday). The red and blacks started with a bang as Niamh McKenzie found the back of the Waikato net in the first minute. But the Waikato girls were not going to lie down easily and fought their way back into the match halfway through the first half to see the teams head into the break all locked up at 1-1. Again it was Canterbury who grabbed the advantage when Abby Reid finished off a well worked PC 7 minutes after the restart. Waikato then threw everything at the Canterbury defence and were rewarded with an equaliser halfway through the final spell setting up a frantic finish to the game as both teams pressed for the winner. With the score unchanged on the final hooter it was the Canterbury girls who held their nerve in the shootout and claimed the semi-final spot. They will play arch rivals Auckland, who they defeated in the final last year, this afternoon in a bid to grab a spot in the final.
The U15A boys continued on their winning way in their quarter-final yesterday morning (Thursday) against Tauranga. In a very evenly poised match both teams had opportunities throughout the first half but neither was able to make the most of those chances and they headed into the halftime break all tied up at 0-0. The Canterbury boys finally broke the deadlock halfway through the 2nd half when Harry Withers grabbed his first goal of the tournament to give the boys the advantage. Three minutes later Jonathon Rollinson gave the boys some extra breathing space, converting a PC in the 48th minute. Despite Tauranga throwing everything they had at Canterbury, the red and black defence held tough and finished out the game with a safe 2-0 victory. The Canterbury lads will now play Counties Manakau later this afternoon in their semi-final.
In sunny Nelson the U15B girls continued their march towards a possible 8th title in a row, with a resounding 8-0 victory over Hawkes Bay B. Arabelle McGuckin started the scoring for the red and blacks in the 12th minute before Scarlett Wilson chimed in with a second 10 minutes later to give the girls a handy 2-0 lead at halftime. McGuckin grabbed her second goal soon after the break, captain Ruby Pedersen chimed in and then McGuckin found the back of the net again for her hattrick. Wilson then added to her tally before Jessie Workman and McGuckin finished off the scoring to complete a comfortable victory. They now face Central Otago in their semi-final this morning.
The U15B boys continued their unbeaten run with a very comfortable 8-1 win against Horowhenua in their quarter-final yesterday (Thursday). Right from the opening whistle the boys were on fire, Brody Warrington grabbing his first goal of the tournament with 2 minutes on the clock. Ben Monk then chimed in with a double to see the Canterbury boys up 3-0 inside the first 7 minutes. Horwhenua hit back a minute later but Hamish Sherratt, Rhys Marshall and George Robers-Hubers all then added field goals to see the boys go into the break with a comfortable 6-1 lead. Warrington added his second before Roberts-Hubers added two more to grab his 3rd hattrick of the tournament. They now face South Canterbury this afternoon for a spot in the final.