High School Hockey Club capped off their dominant season when they won the Manawatu women's club final 4-0 over College on Saturday.
The final opened fast as both teams had opportunities, College saving a penalty corner off an open goal and HSHC keeper Georgia Barnett forced to make two desperate saves.
The expansive play continued through the first half with HSHC finishing stronger, creating many chances that a dogged College defence kept out.
Deadlocked and desperate, both teams kept jostling before HSHC scored off a College turnover in midfield and Nicole Schaef was on hand with a diving deflection goal.
The HSHC trio of Katherine van Woerkom, Wendy Hull and former Black Stick Cat Pollock, in her first game back after serious injury, gained ascendancy in the midfield.
Any chance of a College comeback was squashed after Carla Burt scored off a penalty-corner variation to extend the lead. Pollock was inspirational with her speed and skill when she started and finished a movement, scoring HSHC's third goal that closed out the result.
Pippa Norman added the icing, converting a penalty stroke late in the final.
In the second division final, Marist Green came from behind to win 6-3 over HSHC Evergreens and take the Oliver Cup.
In the third division final, it was a match of two halves. Marist Orange struck back with two quick goals after halftime to win 2-1 over CAPS to take the HMI Trophy
Massey University won back-to-back men's titles by convincingly beating High School Hockey Club 3-0 to retain the Dawick Shield.
The final was played at pace as players fought for possession. Momentum swung back and forth with Massey parked up the field, pressing HSHC. They countered, enjoying a small period in command, led single-handedly by centre Krishan Gajadhar, who came closest, shooting wide off a penalty corner.
Massey were more structured, pushing HSHC back for threequarters of the half before Nathan Holt broke the deadlock with a goal off a series of penalty corners.
HSHC came back with some individual attacks, but not till late in the game did the Massey keeper touch the ball thanks to his defenders.
Any chance of HSHC grabbing an equaliser fizzled early in the second spell when a long hit upfield was deflected over their keeper into the net by standout player Henry Westenra, giving Massey a two-goal lead. The opportunistic goal allowed Massey freedom to throw the ball round and as much as HSHC toiled for ball, the more pressure caused mistakes.
Gajadhar and Matt Brougham were the best for HSHC. Westenra becoming the hero late in the piece, scoring his second goal off a penalty corner.
Marton confirmed their supremacy in the second division defending the title they first won last season with a clinical 4-0 win over HSHC B, Jason Linklater scoring a double.
HSHC Postmen and CAPS played out an 11-goal thriller in the division 3 final with a penalty shootout needed after the teams were locked 3-all at fulltime. Postmen won the shootout 3-2.
College C took their chances well to claim the division 4 final 2-0 over Palmerston North Boys' High School's 2nd XI.
Season prizegiving and awards -
Denise Brown - junior women's goalkeeper of the year: Tegan Muraahi (Tiger Turf NZ u-18 squad)
Denise Brown - senior women's goalkeeper of the year: Georgia Barnett (Central NHL, NZ Develt Squad)
Goalkeeper of the year - senior: Steffan Fastier (Central NHL). Junior: Angus Griffin (Central u-18)
Warren Banks Trophy - most improved men's player: Chris Herbert (Central NHL)
Esmee Rowden most improved women's player: Anna Willocks (Tiger Turf NZ u-18 squad)
Walk Inn men's most improved team: Marist 1st
MHA junior player of the year - men u-20: Hayden Phillips (Tiger Turf NZ squad at Youth Olympics)
MHA junior player of the year - women u20: Casey-Mae Waddell (Tiger Turf NZ squad at Youth Olympics)
Jenny Smart Memorial Trophy - best senior player: Michaela Curtis (NZ Blacksticks)
Mike O'Connor Cup - senior player of the year: Krishan Gajadhar (Central NHL)
O'Connor Cup - most promising umpire: Jess Bond
Harry Turner Cup - umpire of the year: Dave Tomlinson (NZ)
Dave Craven Cup - Umpires Cup: Luke Baird
Hockey Manawatu Umpires' Award: Brendan Johnstone
Coaches Rosebowl - coach of the year: Mike Yates
Vic Turner Memorial Trophy best all-round team: HSHC Rebels
MHA President's Cup - service to hockey: Mike Yates, Tony Brougham
Service awards: Jason Woodman, Linda Berg, Fiona Chard
- Manawatu Standard
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