The curtain comes down on the Canterbury Secondary School Premier League (SSP) this evening, with two cracking finals set to excite what should be a packed crowd at Nga Puna Wai.
The boys final should be one for the ages, with the top two sides from the regular season going head to head. Christ’s College will contest the final for the seventh time since the competition began back in 2012, and are looking to add their fourth title to an already impressive collection.
St. Bede’s College will be hoping it’s third time lucky, having gone done in both their previous trips the final, both in penalty shootout to St. Andrew’s College (2015) and Timaru Boys (2019). The chainsaws will be out in force, will the spectacle on the sideline shaping up to be just as intense as the game itself.
College have come away with two victories already this season, both by a solitary goal, while the most recent match finished as a 0-0 stalemate only two weeks ago.
Expect the two number ten’s Kyle Houston and Charlie Morrison to have a ding dong battle through the centre of the pitch, while Zach May will have his hands full trying to contain Bede’s strike weapon and captain George Baker.
Christchurch Girls High School can complete an unbeaten season if they can get revenge over St. Margaret’s College in the girls final, a team that beat them recently in the South Island Premiership final, as well as two years ago in the corresponding fixture.
The Chris Leslie coached side have had a stellar run in recent years, with back to back podium finishes at Federation Cup, and two Canterbury finals over the past three seasons. They’ve fallen short at the final hurdle, but this could be the year they can finally walk away with smiles on their faces.
Captain Grace Ansell is the definition of workrate through the midfield, while Emily Bowden up front has an eye for goal at any given chance.
St. Margaret’s College have a record that’s second to none when it comes to school hockey. A 12 year Canterbury Secondary School title winning run from 2003 to 2014 was finally halted by Villa Maria College in 2015, but they’ve contested every final since, winning again in 2018.
They started the season as rank outsiders, with only four returning players from 2019. After some heavy defeats to commence the competition, they finally started to find their feet, and went on a dream run at the South Island tournament, upsetting tonight’s opponents in the final.
They came back own to earth losing to Rangi Ruru in the final regular season match by four goals, and were facing their fourth loss to the same side in the semi final, before turning it around and springing another upset to book their ticket in the big dance.
Connetics Secondary School Premier League Finals – NPW 1
5.50pm: Boys Final – Christ’s College v St. Bede’s College
7.10pm: Girls Final – Christchurch GHS v St. Margaret’s College
4.30pm: Girls 3rd/4th – Rangi Ruru GS v Villa Maria College
4.45pm: Girls 3rd/4th – Christchurch BHS v St. Andrew’s College (NPW 2)