Girls’ High finish third in tournament
GISBORNE Girls’ High School performed beyond expectations at the Grant Jarvis Secondary Schoolgirls’ Football Tournament in Wellington last week.
They finished third out of 24 teams, with six wins, one draw and one loss — to eventual winners Hutt Valley — and provided the runner-up to the golden boot winner.
Central midfielder Maddie Wilson got forward enough to score 15 goals. The golden boot winner scored 17.
Traditionally, Girls’ High have gone to the Maurice Hulme Tournament, held this year in Rotorua. It is one of several “satellite” tournaments at a level below the premier competition (held this year in Christchurch).
But due to an administrative mix-up that turned out for the best, Gisborne Girls’ High were entered in the Grant Jarvis Tournament based in Petone.
Assistant coach — and Gisborne girls’ 16-plus rep team manager — Korine Stairs was in charge, as work commitments meant coach and Gisborne United first-team defender Matt Adams could not travel.
Stairs, who as Korine Harding played for Girls’ High and Poverty Bay, said the team coped well with any challenges.
“Only one of our girls had played on artificial turf before, and most of our games were played on it,” she said.
“The bounce was more predictable than it would be on a natural pitch, but the ball moved a lot faster.
“We didn’t have as many injuries at the end of the week, except for grazes when they fell over. It wasn’t a sliding environment. Some of them found that out the hard way.
“We tried to keep the ball at our feet. The girls adapted quickly.”
In five games of pool play the girls were undefeated and finished top of their pool on goal difference.
They beat Wanganui 3-1, Wilson scoring two goals and Tessa Hills, one. Genna Robertson was named player of the match.
In the 10-0 win against Northern Southland, Wilson scored seven goals, Georgia Richardson, two, and Hills, one. Keira Cairns was player of the match.
Jayde Neal and Wilson scored a goal each in the 2-0 win against Iona. Samara Wharehinga-Walters was player of the match.
Hills scored the goal in the 1-1 draw with Sacred Heart College of Wellington. Emma Brownlie was player of the match.
Wilson and Richardson scored a goal each in the 2-1 win against Newlands. Morgan Andrews was player of the match.
In the top-eight playoffs, Leah Scholefield and Wilson scored a goal each in a 2-2 draw with Bethlehem, and Gisborne Girls’ High won the penalty shootout 3-0. Goalkeeper Sterling Maxwell, who had never faced a shootout before, was player of the match.
Next came the game against eventual winners Hutt Valley. Girls’ High turned up at Wakefield Park in Island Bay, only to learn the venue had been changed. They turned up at Petone five minutes before the scheduled kick-off and had no time to warm up. They conceded a goal early in the match, and the halftime score of 3-0 was also the final score. Georgia Richardson was player of the match.
“They were a classy team and deserved to win,” Stairs said.
Gisborne’s final game was the third/fourth playoff against Havelock North, which Gisborne won 4-0. Player of the match Wilson scored a hat-trick and Andrews scored one.
Stairs said the team “played their hearts out” and were complimented on the spirit in which they played.
She thanked Julie Andrews for managing the team for the past four years.