The large crowd at Nga Puna Wai on Friday night were treated to the most exciting finish to a Canterbury Secondary School finals night since the two competitions moved to the same playing day, as Christ’s College and Christchurch Girls High School came away with the respective titles.
Christ’s College walked away with their fourth title in nine years as they defeated St. Bede’s College in a seven goal thriller 4-3. College were never behind on the scoreboard, and went ahead early as Alex Lloyd converted within the first five minutes.
St. Bede’s looked to have struck back through captain George Baker, but the penalty corner was disallowed, before Baker found the back of the net again, and he wasn’t to be denied to draw the game level.
The second half was frantic, with Christ’s grabbing a two buffer as Tim Seeto pounced on a rebound high above his head, before co-captain Zach May slotted home a penalty corner variation.
Charlie Morrison reduced the margin as Bede’s scored their second penalty corner, before Seeto put College up by two with a deflection high into the net.
Morrison’s second, a contender for goal of the season and probably the best goal ever seen at Nga Puna Wai, made for a hectic final few minutes, but College held on to secure the title.
Christchurch Girls High School finally got the monkey off their back, holding their nerve in a sudden death penalty shootout to beat St. Margaret’s College.
It was the third time in two years that the teams had played off in a final, with St. Margaret’s winning on both occasions, including only a few weeks ago in the South Island final.
Girls High were unbeaten in the Canterbury competition, and played like it in the first half, creating a number of opportunities before finally taking the lead from a penalty corner through Emily Bowden.
St. Margaret’s College were defending well and just holding on, but then managed to equalise in the second half through Mezzy Surridge.
No further goals were added in the final stages, and so for the first time since 2014, the girls final would be decided by way of penalty shootout.
It was drama filled, and went all the way to the fourth round of sudden death, before Bowden found the back of the net to secure a famous victory for Christchurch Girls.
Connetics Secondary School Premier Finals
Boys Final: Christ’s College 4 (Tim Seeto 2, Zach May, Alex Lloyd), St. Bede’s College 3 (Charlie Morrison 2, George Baker)
Girls Final: Christchurch GHS 1 (5) (Emily Bowden), St. Margaret’s College 1 (4) (Mezzy Surridge)