The National Under 18 hockey tournament concluded on Saturday in Whangarei with both the Northland boys and girls teams achieving their highest placing.
The Northland boys lost their final match against Southern 3-0 to finish sixth in the tournament, their best result in the current tournament format.
The highlight of the week for the Northland boys team was beating the Auckland boys 2-0 in their second game.
Coach Hymie Gill said "to score two against Auckland was massive for the Northland boys and for the Northland public and that gave us a big boost."
Northland's second win of the week was a 4-2 result over Southern and Gill said "that was a big result for us that put us in the playoff for fifth and sixth for the first time ever which is exciting."
Gill puts the improvement down to a lot of little things that the team have learned over the last few years and the increased skill level of his players.
Canterbury put on a dominant performance to beat Central 6-0 in the final of the boy's competition, with North Harbour beating Capital to finish third.
The Northland Under 18 girls also finished sixth after losing their final match to Capital 2-1.
Starting the week with two tough matches, the Northland side redeemed themselves towards the end of the week to put in competitive performances to beat Midlands in a shootout and Southern 2-0.
Coach Alana Millington said "the girls earned some respect this week by no longer being the easy beats in the competition."
Central were the standout team in the girl's competition, beating Canterbury 4-1 in the final while North Harbour beat Auckland 3-1 to finish third.