Two sixth spots for region's schools

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:00 11/12/2012

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Nelson teams have recorded two top-six finishes at the New Zealand secondary schools touch nationals in Hamilton at the weekend.

Nelson College for Boys finished in sixth position in the boys' competition, with Mitchell Drummond named in the tournament team.

Like their male counterparts, Nelson College for Girls lost the plate final to finish in sixth.

Playing in the mixed grade, Waimea College finished in 16th spot nationally, with Ella Marwick making the tournament team.

Nelson College began day one with a 3-1 win over St Peter's College at Waikato University Park. That was followed by a loss to Westlake Boys, who Nelson would meet again later. In the final game of the day, Nelson walloped Southland Boys' 9-nil.

The pool-play results saw Nelson drawn in section two of the top division. The graded competition proved challenging with losses to St Kentigen College (7-2) and Christchurch Boys' (6-4).

Nelson bounced back with a 10-6 win over Palmerston North Boys' and ended the day's play with a 9-5 win over Marlborough Boys'.

After finishing fourth in section two of the top grade, the Phil Ave-coached side was playing a plate semifinal first-up on day three for positions 5-9. Nelson edged a tight encounter with Kelston Boys, finishing 8-7 in favour of the South Island side.

In the final, Nelson resumed their battle with Westlake Boys'. The Auckland side came through to win the plate final 9-7, although in sixth, Nelson finished as the top-placed South Island team.

Hamilton Boys' defeated Palmerston North 9-5 in the boys' final, taking their fifth title in seven years, in their seventh appearance in a row in the final.

Nelson College for Girls had a tough first-up match against eventual finalists Hamilton Girls', losing their pool C encounter 6-1. That was followed by a 4-all draw with Sacred Heart Girls' and a 4-1 win over Palmerston North Girls'.

With other results favouring NCG, day two saw the side contest section two in division one. An opening 8-5 loss to Mt Albert Grammar, was tempered with wins over St Kentigen College (3-1) and St Hilda's Colligate (3-0). The final match of the day was a 7-0 loss to Mahuranga College.

Day three brought a plate semifinal after the Cyril Collier-coached team finished third in section two, playing for positions 5-9. NCG defeated Whakatane High School 5-2, but were beaten by Christchurch Girl's 6-3 in the final to finish sixth.

Mt Albert Grammar defeated Hamilton Girls' 7-6 in a tight final to prevent the hosts from claiming the single-sex double.

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In the mixed grade contest, Waimea College earned a 4-all draw with Mt Albert Grammar, but were beaten by Trident High (7-4) and Mahurangi (6-5) in pool A.

Waimea were to contest division two on day two, beating Massey High School 6-2 for their first win. A close 5-4 loss to Wanganui High School preceded another draw, 5-all with Kaipara College.

Day three saw Waimea compete for a placing after finishing second in section one of division two. In the playoff games, Waimea were beaten 3-2 by Botany Downs and 5-3 by Kaipara College for a 16th finish.

For coach Simon Paenga's Waimea, several close results were the difference between 16th and perhaps a top-10 finish. St Andrew's College defeated St Peter's Cambridge 7-5 in the mixed final.

- The Nelson Mail

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