In club hockey on Saturday, Palmerston North Boys' High School upset College 8-5.
The game was entertaining with goals galore after the opening 25 minutes when they shared two penalty corner chances each.
College will be kicking themselves. If they had won they would be atop the table after the top two sides drew later in the afternoon.
After a long tussle Boys' High broke the deadlock with a polished goal. College struck straight back to level but Boys' High held their composure and grabbed the lead again with a field goal.
Play went back and forth as College appeared to panic. They upped their pace, pushing players forward and forced passes through gaps that were not there.
Boys' High's defence stood firmand their counter-attacks yielded another goal to Bradley Grapes from a rebound off the woodwork.
College got a goal back when Blair Hodgson dived to touch in a cross from Andrew Gifkins.
Minutes after the break, Boys' High scored first and withstood College challenges.
College had many chances as their attackers pushed forward, a penalty stroke by Andrew Gardiner closed the gap to one.
Two long passes out to high-running forwards yielded two wicked goals to Boys' High. Hayden Phillips reversed flicked past a stranded keeper then Josh Smith scored with a back hit from the top of the circle.
Under stress, the College mistakes continued and it took a solo dribble by Warren Phillips to get a goal back.
Usual Boys' High defender Grapes got a double along with Jason Peel and Smith finished on a hat-trick.
Tech College Old Boys smoothed their run for fourth spot with a 4-2 win over Rangers in Whanganui. In a slow and sedate game, both teams lacked their full lineups due to Wanganui Collegiate opening their new water turf.
Manawatu College Old Boys and Marist drew 3-3.
MCOB had all the pressure in the first spell, jumping to a 2-0 lead before Marist got one back off a long-range shot. The second spell play see-sawed with Josh Scott grabbing his second goal off a penalty stroke to level. The match went up a notch as Marist pushed with Stefan Pope slotting a goal for the lead with minutes remaining.
In the dying minute, MCOB made use of the space created after Marist had a player sinbinned. From a penalty corner, Dion Sanson grabbed the equaliser.
Marist slip to fifth in the hunt with Tech for fourth spot in the semifinals. With a round in hand, Marist must win big in the last round next weekend and need Tech to lose their last game.
The game between the top two, Massey and High School Hockey Club, fittingly finished 2-2.
HSHC scored in the first 70 seconds then defended hard. It was a slow first half with the wet pitch dictating the intensity level. Massey poured on attack and levelled in the 31st minute. Massey went ahead on quarter time in the second half. The intensity level rose again, HSHC had a few more chances with Troy Davey levelling off a one-two pass. George Falloon excelled in defence for HSHC.
Tech College Old Boys went on the rampage against a HSHC Evergreens side missing Colleen Baylis and Caryn Paewai to win 4-2.
A wealth of possession yielded two goals late in the half through Kathryn Paul and Melissa Hilton. After the break Paul continued to test Evergreens defence and Tech scored a simple goal off a straight penalty corner shot right through the keeper's pads.
Late in the match, Evergreens produced their best period, grabbing two consolation goals.
Massey beat Palmerston North Girls' High School 2-0 in the wet. Massey had most of the play with Girls' High making individual sorties on attack .
Black Stick Michaela Curtis spearheaded Massey as she surged, dribbled and tested Girls' High's defence supported by Kendal Hawke who scored a brace. Girls' High never gave up and their press stretched Massey at times.
HSHC travelled to Whanganui and beat Collegians 3-1. All HSHC goals came in the first half and they kept composure in the second spell to win in an ugly stop-start game.
College had the bye.
- © Fairfax NZ News