Wellington Boys and Girls U15 teams both finished in the top 10 at their recent tournaments
Wellington finished tenth at their tournament held in Christchurch, after they had placed seventh at Nelson last year.
They came a close third in their pool after beating Nelson 3-2, losing to a strong Northland side 4-1 and drawing 1-1 with Bay of Plenty, who had beaten Nelson 5-0 and pipped Wellington on goal difference.
Wellington’s first cross-over game was an exciting encounter with Southland who led 2-0 early on, then scored in the last minute to draw the game 4-4. Wellington won the shoot-out series 3-1, with Wellington College goal-keeper Roman Polaczuk turning back three attackers.
They next disposed of Counties-Manukau 5-0 with three goals to Blake Randall, and then played off for ninth and tenth against Auckland. The blue-and-whites went out to a 3-0 lead at half-time, but Wellington came back strongly with a goal to Blake Randall and the final score was 4-1 to Auckland.
Most goals were scored by Hutt Valley High School's Blake Randall, while captain Dan Stevens (Onslow College), Stefan Millard and Judd Adamson (both Wellington College) scored two.
A late goal to Tauranga in the final against 2017 champions North Harbour sent the game to shoot-outs, which the Auckland-based team won 4-1 to go back-to-back.
The Wellington girls’ team finished a creditable seventh at their tournament in Napier. They were second in their three-team pool after beating Manawatu 5-0 and then going down 2-0 to 2017 champions Canterbury. They led Auckland 1-0 at half-time in their cross-over game, before going down 3-1.
They then played well against Waikato but lost 1-0, with the only goal coming from a penalty corner shortly after half-time.
That meant they had to play Northland for seventh and eighth and after another close game produced no goals, it was Wellington Girls’ College striker Ruby Baker who broke the deadlock in the first minute of extra time to give Wellington the win and a final placing one higher than in 2017.
Goals were hard to come by after the first game, but Mandy Yeo from Paraparaumu College scored the most with three. Ruby Baker scored two and captain Katherine Winter from Wellington Girls’ College and Onslow College’s Hannah McNaughtan scored one each.
In a tight final Canterbury beat Auckland 1-0, which was the same score as their win over North Harbour in the final last year.