Round 1 - Sunday
Capital drew their first game against home side Southern 3-3 before winning the shoot-outs 4-2 to take the extra point. Southern scored early with a field goal to which Callum Olsen replied from a penalty corner in the first quarter. Southern had a 3-1 lead at half-time, but goals by Liam Mortimer and Graeme Murrell in the third quarter, both from penalty corners, brought Capital level. Neither team could find the winner in a fast, open fourth quarter.
In the shoot-outs Marco Brown. Sajan Patel, Isaac Dyer and Murrell converted their opportunities, while Capital goal-keeper Harrison Groom kept out two of Southern’s four attempts
Capital women also drew their first game against Auckland, which finished 2-2, before they went down 3-2 in the shoot-outs. They did well to come from two goals down inside the final 10 minutes, with field goals to Kapiti’s Brooke Eddie and Jessica Kelly from Nelson. Eddie and Kapiti teammate Ashleigh Hill were successful in their shootouts.
Round 2 – Monday
Capital beat Midlands in the late game after Junior Black Stick Liam Mortimer, originally from Northland, put Capital ahead on the stroke of quarter time. There was no further scoring in a tight first half, but New Zealand Under -18 striker Sajan Patel doubled Capital’s lead at the very end of the third quarter. Marco Brown continued the trend when he scored Capital’s third goal with the last hit of the game to complete a very good victory.
Capital went down 10-1 to the powerful Central side that had beaten Southern 8-0 on Sunday. Capital actually scored first through Jessica Kelly in the fourth minute, but the 2017 champions soon equalised and they led 5-1 at half-time. Capital fought back well in the third quarter but Central held firm, then scored four goals in the last 10 minutes against a tiring defence. Central’s leading scorer was Junior Black Sticks’ striker Hope Ralph from Taranaki who knocked in five goals including a penalty stroke.
Round 3 – Tuesday
A goal in the first quarter and three more in the second to drag-flick ace Callum Olsen set up Capital’s commanding 6-4 win over Canterbury. The Hutt United Premier 1 player in his third Under-18 tournament after having earlier represented Central was unstoppable at penalty corner time; emulating clubmates Ollie Logan and Ollie MacIntyre at their best. Marco Brown also scored in the second quarter for Capital to lead 5-0 at half-time. Canterbury came back with two goals in the third quarter and two in the fourth, but a fifth strike to Olsen with five minutes remaining ensured they topped their pool. They go into the top four group alongside Auckland. Midlands and North Harbour, with their next game to be against Auckland on Thursday.
Capital’s third game against Southern ended in a scoreless stalemate and the teams went to shoot-outs to gain the extra point. Southern won this 3-1 with Sara Cooper the only Capital player to get past well-performed goal-keeper Hannah George. This put them into the bottom four pool with Northland, Midlands and Southern , with Midlands to be their next opponents on Thursday.
Report by Todd Foster