Hutt Heat U21 Men - 2017 National Champions
three Hutt members made the tournament team: Cam Hayes, Hamish Booker, Josh de Reeper
Hutt Club has claimed the inaugural Under 21 National Championships with a
close 9-8 win over Marist in a hotly-contested final at Sacred Heart
Aquatic Centre in Auckland on Tuesday.
Itís a historic win for Hutt, who claimed its first age group division one
title for the first time in two decades.
Throughout the three-day tournament, both teams proved they had the
capability to win, and it was Hutt who were the most threatening in the
opening stages of the game. The bulk of ball possession went the way of the
visitors, taking on home team Marist who were buoyed by eight members of
the NZWPNL champion Magic side.
Hutt scored first through Lachie Watson after two promising attempts on
goal and looked eager early on. Marist equalized early on through a
Cayne Dew penalty shot, but Hutt would have the lead 2-1 by the end of the
quarter after NZ junior menís player Hamish Booker scored on a man up.
Booker caught fire in the second quarter, scoring a noteworthy three goals
that boosted Hutt to a 5-2 lead at half-time.
Hutt kept the momentum early in the second half, scoring through Jack Ross
for a four-goal lead and then again through Lachie Watson with a Marist
goal from Nick Paterson in between.
The next two goals would go the way of the Marist side as they reduced the
Hutt lead to two through Ryan Pike and Liam Paterson, and the score was 7-5
with a quarter to play.
Marist made it four in a row and drew level 7-7 with two goals from Kiwi
menís player Ryan Pike; a comeback was on the cards.
A two-minute period followed with no goals, before Hutt broke the silence
through Jack Ross for a slim 8-7 with 2:53 left on the clock.
Cameron Hayes looked to seal the deal with just 20 seconds left on the
clock and put up a good shot for 9-7, but that didnít sink the hopes of
Marist. With ball in hand, they earned a quick exclusion and scored (Pike)
within seconds for 9-8, but Hutt ran out the game clock and it was all
over, they were the inaugural Under 21 National Champions.
HUTT: Joshua de Reeper, Lachie Watson 2, Mathew Hansen, Jack Ross 2,
Cameron Hayes 1, Connor Bougen, Hamish Waddell, Matt Quin, Hamish Booker 4,
Nate Russell, C Tainui, Jack Player, Will Murphy.
Coach: Chris Naylor, Asst: Sean Bryant, Manager: P Watson