South Canterbury players win national title

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 17/07/2014
TOP EFFORT: Luke Cullen and Shaun Coles were two of three current South Canterbury players in the victorious Canterbury under-18 hockey team at the national championships. Willy Carter was overseas.
Mytchall Bransgrove/Fairfax NZ

TOP EFFORT: Luke Cullen and Shaun Coles were two of three current South Canterbury players in the victorious Canterbury under-18 hockey team at the national championships. Willy Carter was overseas.

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Three South Canterbury hockey players have returned from their national under-18 tournament as champions.

Timaru Boys' High School players Luke Cullen, Shaun Coles and Willy Carter were part of the Canterbury team that beat Midlands 2-1 in the tournament final on Sunday.

Cullen admitted the team only showed their full potential once they were in the tournament.

In a must-win clash, Canterbury were level with Capital 1-1 at halftime, but four second-half goals in 20 minutes had them on the way to the playoffs.

''To score four goals in such a short space of time when we needed it was great,'' Cullen said.

Sharp said the team relied on their New Zealand age-group players like Dave Brydon on attack.

''Our defence was really good as well - in the games that mattered we only conceded four goals,'' Cullen said.

Cullen and Coles said, while they were only role players, getting so many games at the higher speed would be beneficial to all their individual games.

They admitted Canterbury could have played better in the final, but to win was the ultimate outcome.

''We tried to stay as calm as we could before the final, but it was tough because we knew this would be the last game for some of the guys, and for us as a team.''

Former South Canterbury players Lawrence Darling and Sam Lane were also part of the squad.

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- The Timaru Herald

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