St Peter's School Girls' First XI football team finished an incredibly competitive local season by claiming their fifth straight league and cup double.
After returning from national tournament week with a creditable fifth placing, with Hamilton Girls' High School finishing ninth, St Peter's took on their traditional rivals in the last game of the Waikato secondary schools premier league last Thursday.
The first-round game earlier in the year ended in a draw and with HGHS holding a slight advantage in goal difference, it was a game St Peter's had to win in order to be crowned the league champions.
St Peter's were without leading goal-scorers Bee Witt and Opal Shaw, who were both ruled out with injury, and found themselves under a huge amount of pressure in the first half.
Hamilton Girls played some excellent football and created a number of good chances. However, St Peter's goalkeeper Naomi Carter and captain Christie McCollam, playing centre, back were in outstanding form and able to withstand any HGHS attacking raids.
In the second half, St Peter's began to play their own game, a superbly weighted Anna McGregor free kick was played into space and Laura Phillips was quickest to react to put the defending champs in front.
The lead was quickly doubled when Janelle McGirr whipped in a spectacular cross and Rangimarie Wirihana smashed it home.
Hamilton Girls responded by flooding forward hoping a draw would be enough.
Although Rachel Porteous scored a well-taken penalty, time ran out and St Peter's celebrated a 2-1 victory.
The team then backed up once more on Saturday in the Knockout Cup final against Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.
St Peter's were quickly ahead as Wirihana converted a chance at the far post. Both teams then had numerous opportunities and periods of dominance in a match that ebbed and flowed.
St Peter's killed off the game when Jess Bilton drove home the second from outstanding lead-up work from Bethany Weller and Phillips to secure a deserved victory.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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