The First XI boys' team hosted 11 other schools from all around the North Island from Monday 25 April for three days. Turning on some magnificent Waikato weather, it was the perfect week to host the hockey tournament.
The boys were first in action on ANZAC Day morning playing Napier Boys' High School. After observing a moment of silence before hit off, it was all systems go. The boys scored first through debutant Ben Spring (Year 12) before conceding a goal going into half time 1-1. The second half saw Napier nicking the game with a second goal in the final minutes.
Next up in the afternoon, the boys took on a strong Wellington College side. It looked very much like a game where both teams had already played that day and they were running out of legs. Wellington College edged out St Paul’s 1-0 in a scrappy encounter.
The second day brought a new lease of life to the St Paul’s side. Sound guidance by their three strong coaching staff of Matt Rees-Gibbs, Cameron Hayde and Tony Hopping saw them make some real progress on their day one performances. In the first game, the boys beat Palmerston North Boys High 2-1 thanks to a brilliant breakaway goal from Cameron Bird (Year 13) and a penalty corner strike from Javahn Jones (Year 13).
In the afternoon match, the boys took on Auckland Grammar School where the boys dominated much of the game. The opposition battled well and tried to upset the game plan, but the St Paul’s boys went on to win 2-0. Goals were scored by Owen Obaseki (Year 12) and Cameron Bird.
The final day saw the boys take on New Plymouth Boys' High School who had some impressive results leading up to the game. They proved too strong for the St Paul’s boys, running out winners 2-1. Javahn Jones scored the St Paul’s goal from a penalty corner.
The tournament was a great opportunity for the boys to get some game time under their belts and to blood in the new members of the 2022 squad.