The good news continued for the Marlborough Boys' College 1st XI football side at the Jim Wishart tournament in Ashburton yesterday.
After a draw and a victory on Monday, MBC overcame Geraldine 4-1 yesterday morning before scoring a hard-fought 2-0 win over James Hargest in the afternoon.
The results means MBC are guaranteed a quarterfinal spot tomorrow and if they beat Middleton Grange in their final pool match this morning they will finish top of their pool.
MBC scored early against Geraldine, but it was 1-1 at halftime and a three-goal spurt at the start of the second spell was required for MBC to take maximum points.
Coach Paul Ferguson said his side struggled to get on top of a dogged Geraldine outfit. He felt second half replacement Tom Rawcliffe played a crucial role in adding some spark for MBC after halftime.
The "crunch game" against James Hargest was scoreless at the break, but, following a sustained period of pressure, Lukas Simpson headed in from a corner to give MBC the lead with 15 minutes left. James Hargest blew a golden opportunity to equalise five minutes later and a Nick Kelly free-kick put the result beyond doubt for MBC in the final few minutes.
Ferguson singled out left back Robbie Columbus for an inspirational man-of-the-match effort, while keeper Michael Ruffell remained tidy in his work and Sam Boyce and Taine Swete continued to play integral roles.
At the Gary Sowden tournament in Timaru, the MGC 1st XI football side suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Middleton Grange.
Despite the loss, MGC have still qualified for today's quarterfinals and were set to face Papanui High this morning.
MGC coach Gary Roberts described yesterday's performance as "a bit of a shocker" and hoped it would provide his players with a wake-up call for the quarters.
Middleton Grange had a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes and although Anna Jones grabbed one back for MGC just before halftime, MGC were unable to capitalise on several chances to equalise in the second spell.
Roberts mentioned midfielders Baylee Connor-McClean and Hannah Cook as MGC's best performed players.
The Marlborough Girls' College netball team remain on track to significantly improve on last year's placing at the SISS netball tournament in Dunedin.
MGC hammered Ashburton College 41-19 in their final pool match yesterday morning, seeing them place second in their pool and keeping them in the hunt for a semifinal spot in A grade. Those semifinal hopes were heavily dented with a 28-26 loss in their first post-pool match against Central Southland in the afternoon. However, the win over Ashburton means the lowest MGC can finish is 16th, after placing 20th in 2011.
MGC assistant coach Jan Gallop said they had a nine-goal lead at halftime against Ashburton and powered away in the second half with a strong effort. Everyone played well, but shooters Lauren Murray and Georgie Crawford were highly impressive, missing just four shots combined. Goal keep Taylor Rogers rebounded well.
Gallop described the Central Southland match as a scrappy affair dominated by turnovers and good defence.
MGC trailed by three at halftime, but had a one-goal lead at three-quarter time. However, they started the fourth quarter poorly, allowing Central Southland to go on a 7-1 run and take a lead they would never relinquish.
Wing defence/centre Sarah French and wing attack Ella Rose Hammond worked tirelessly all match. MGC picked up a bonus point for a close loss, and while that would probably not be enough to put them in semifinal contention, Gallop said they were aiming for two wins against Rangi Ruru and Taieri College today and a spot in the 5th-8th playoffs tomorrow.
Also in A grade, Kaikoura High School are aiming for 17th overall following a loss and a win yesterday.
Last year's B grade champs lost 44-28 to Lincoln High in the morning, seeing them finish third in their pool and out of the top 16. But, they bounced back in style in the afternoon, edging St Kevin's College 28-26.
Coach Shelley Fissenden said a very poor second quarter cost her side against a physical Lincoln and they had to play catchup in the second half. She noted centre Amber Priddle and defender Zingara McDougall-Fissenden as the standout players from that match.
The match against St Kevin's was close all the way. Kaikoura were ahead by one at the start of the final quarter and showed good composure to hold on for victory. Fissenden said all the team played well, but singled out goal attack Aimee James and goal keep Letitia Mullaly for particularly strong efforts.
Meanwhile, in B grade, Queen Charlotte College are still just in contention for a semifinal spot.
They scored a come-from-behind 44-42 win over Westland High yesterday morning to finish second in their pool. In the afternoon, they were beaten 50-33 by Cashmere High in their first post-pool match.
QCC trailed by four at halftime against Westland, but were down just two at three-quarter time and retained the momentum in the final quarter to secure the two-goal win.
Goal defence Tamsin Woolf was named player of the match and coach Karli Hopkins said it was a crucial win as it secured them a place in the top 16. That meant they were guaranteed to make a big improvement on their 29th placing last year.
Although they lost by 17 goals to Cashmere, Hopkins said her side were just four down at halftime and felt the scoreline did not reflect how close the game was or how well her side played. Wing defence Huria McClaren-Davies was the standout player.
QCC face Nayland and Timaru Girls today.
The SISS junior basketball tournament concluded in Nelson yesterday, with MGC A placing fourth in the 12-team girls competition and MBC A finishing seventh in a strong field of nine boys teams.
MGC went down 56-44 to Ashburton College in their semifinal in the morning.
Despite the loss, the Marlborough side put in a tireless performance and coach Deidre van Velthooven said she could not have asked any more from her players against a very tall Ashburton outfit. Annaliese Raemaki top-scored for MGC with 12 points, while Georgina Williams, Lily O'Fagan and Eloise van Velthooven also shone.
After such a big effort in the semifinal, MGC were "dead on their feet" in the third place playoff against Waimea in the afternoon and were well beaten 81-41. Top scorer in that match was van Velthooven with 15, with Rachel Vis adding 10.
MGC also finished fourth in 2011 and coach van Velthooven was pleased with her side's tournament and said they played as a team throughout.
Meanwhile, following four losses in pool play on Sunday and Monday, the MBC junior team finished their tournament on a winning note by beating Nayland 82-61 to finish seventh overall.
Manager Ma'ara Ave Sr said although they lost all four of their pool games, three of those defeats were by narrow margins.
It was also the first time in four or five years MBC had attended the tournament and this year's side was a young one. Four of the players in the starting five were year nine and would be eligible to play again next year. Sam Cootes and Ma'ara Ave Jr were the team's leading scorers for the tournament.
The MGC B team placed a creditable eighth in the girls competition after losses to Nayland and St Margaret's yesterday.
The Queen Charlotte College badminton team is making every post a winner at their South Island tournament at Dunedin notching up wins over St Andrew's College and Palmerston North BHS.
In the St Andrew's clash, Joseph Timms and Lachlan Woolf had a fine doubles win in the No 1 clash then Blair Timms and Ben Reihana backed that up by winning the No 2 clash, while the Timms brothers and Reihana also won their singles.
QCC had a fine win over Palmerston North BHS, Joseph and Blair Timms leading the way winning their singles and doubles matches in a nail-biting contest. Joseph Timms had to keep his opponent under 17 points for QCC to take the match and he did that, winning 21-10, 21-2.
At the Founders Cup secondary schoolboy's hockey tournament at Levin, Marlborough Boys' College are in the quarterfinals.
So far they have beaten Tauranga BHS 2-0 with Hayden Boyce and Ben Pelvin the goal-scorers and despite a 0-2 loss to Taradale College, MBC advanced to play Tauranga BHS in their quarterfinal today.
Coach Vinny Redwood said his team were playing "out of their skins".
At the Audrey Timlin Memorial secondary schoolgirl's hockey tournament at College Park in Blenheim, Marlborough Girls' College are also in the quarterfinals, having beaten Hauraki Plains College 3-1 yesterday.
Zoe Weaver scored two goals and Emily Wallace one in what team officials called a fine team performance. Hannah Hocquard was a key, making several fine saves in goal.
Results from yesterday's play: Samuel Marsden Collegiate 4 Lincoln HS 1, Saint Kentigern College 2 St Andrew's College 1, Nga Tawa Diocesan 3 Queen Margaret College 0, Kings College 2 Otago GHS 1, New Plymouth GHS 2 Chilton St James 0, Avonside HS 1 Timaru GHS 1, Gore HS 2 Paraparaumu College 1, St Andrew's College 4 Lincoln HS 0, Saint Kentigern College 3 Samuel Marsden College 1, Queen Margaret College 4 Otago GHS 0, Nga Tawa Diocesan 3 Kings College 0, Marlborough GC 3 Hauraki Plains College 1.
The Marlborough Boys' College under 15 rugby team suffered their second successive loss at their South Island tournament in Christchurch, going down 5-67 to Southland BHS.
Fullback Mitchell Smith scored a consolation try for MBC with flanker Josh Holdway the other standout player in a well beaten team.
- The Marlborough Express
Who will win the Press Cup on Saturday, 2.30pm, Lansdowne Park, Blenheim?