The Auckland 1A final at Eden Park before well over 10,000 spectators was another epic that was filled with drama down to the final seconds.
St Kentigern hung on to beat defending champs Auckland Grammar 17-15 for their fourth championship in five seasons and their fifth in all. But it was a close-run thing, with Auckland Grammar the better team in the second half and three St Kentigern backs suffering bad injuries. St Kentigern No 10 Carlos Price slotted three decisive goals from three, after outstanding fullback Etene Nanai scored within the opening 90 seconds. Things got much harder for St Kentigern, and though prop Sesimani Tupou scored in his fifth straight 1A final, Auckland Grammar had the lead for 20 minutes after tries to halfback Melino Fineanganofo and wing Sean Cassidy, and exerted pressure in the set-piece and breakdown.
No 10 Wiseguy Faiane had a costly off day from the tee.
In North Harbour's 1A final, Rosmini won their first championship since 2009, edging fierce rivals Westlake 13-12 in a rugged final. The match was notable for flawless goalkicking by Sam Babb of Westlake and man of the match Connor Leather of Rosmini. Rosmini's industrious pack was able to disrupt the flow of Westlake's ball and loose forward Cooper Murdoch scored the sole try from a lineout drive. Thereafter it was about commitment on defence.
St Kentigern will face the winner of yesterday's Rosmini-Whangarei BHS clash in Saturday's Blues regional final. The winner of that decider will represent the Blues at next week's national Top 4 tournament in Rotorua.
Hamilton BHS will not be able to defend their top 4 title after they were upset 30-23 by Rotorua BHS in the Chiefs regional semifinal. New Plymouth BHS tipped over Wesley 20-15, though it finished at three tries apiece in the other semifinal.
In the Auckland 1B final at Eden Park, Onehunga edged Liston 23-22, and both sides will contest the 2016 promotion-relegation series. Waitakere won the 1C, 18-14 over Sancta Maria, in the final, and win promotion to 1B.
St Paul's have returned to the top of secondary school league in Auckland, edging out Kelston BHS 23-20 to win the CRL grand final on Saturday.
The title marks a return to dominance for the perennial heavyweights, who surrendered both the Auckland and national titles to Kelston last year.
A first-half double to eventual man of the match Sean Tofa-Timoteo did much of the damage, while St Paul's captain Beau Cordtz stood up with his kicking game and moments of individual brilliance in attack.
St Paul's coach Phil Sargent, who has been with the school's team since 2002, said it was a victory built off defensive pressure early in sets.
Sacred Heart have won their third Auckland premier league title in four seasons after a tight 2-1 victory over runners-up St Kentigern last Friday before a vocal crowd at Bill McKinlay Park.
A pinpoint cross from Lucas Imrie led to a tap-in by Dylan Bull, while Connor Probert converted a penalty. Dane Schnell scored St Kentigern's goal as they mounted a strong comeback but were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes to play. Sacred Heart will now defend their national title at tournament week in Nelson, though they have a catch-up match against King's this afternoon, which is academic to the final standings.
Other championship winners were Pakuranga, by some margin, in the Senior A2, Waitakere in the Senior A3 after a 5-1 win over Green Bay, and Selwyn in the Senior A4 championship. The Senior A1 is still to be determined between St Peter's and Mt Roskill Grammar.
Mt Albert Grammar First XI girls won the APC Knockout Cup with a dominant 7-0 win in the final over close rivals St Kentigern. A Jade Parris hat-trick was complemented by goals to Nicole Mettam, Sam Tawharu, Malia Steinmetz and Grace Jale. They will now defend their national crown in Taupo next week.
Mt Albert Grammar School have reclaimed the Auckland schools premier one netball title after downing St Kentigern 40-34 last Wednesday night.
St Kentigern upset MAGS to win the 2014 title, but MAGS turned the tables in a tight struggle at the Auckland Netball Centre. It was the same result in premier two, where MAGS narrowly beat St Kentigern 20-18.
For the first time ever, Long Bay have made the North Harbour schools final for Saturday. With one round of play still to go, the team is seven points ahead of the rest of the table, meaning they are guaranteed a place in the final. Their opponent will not be known until tonight when Westlake GHS and Carmel compete for the last spot in the final. Long Bay, with Georgia Dowd as skipper, have had a solid and consistent year in a competition where the quality of netball across North Harbour has been strong.
The North Shore Events Centre will be the place to be tomorrow night as the premier girls' and boys' basketball winners are decided.
Rangitoto features in both, playing Westlake GHS and Westlake BHS respectively.
Westlake GHS defeated MAGS 86-64 while Rangitoto beat Auckland Girls Grammar 87-47 in the premier girls' semis to set up a North Shore showdown.
In the premier boys, arch-rivals Westlake and Rangitoto are on a collision course after two good semifinal victories. The teams have already met twice this season and it was Westlake who had the upper hand in both games, winning 70-62 and 84-77. Westlake has had a fine season up until now, only dropping two matches during the middle of the season, even though they've had key players overseas and battled with injuries.
Matt Freeman has had an outstanding year, his highlight winning the 3x3 basketball U18 World Championship with the New Zealand team; and playing for the U18 New Zealand team in Fiji. Starting point guard Isaac Letoa has also shown great leadership alongside co-captain and Westlake stalwart Logan Hunt, who played his 100th premier game for Westlake in the semifinal win over Onehunga. Thabo Manyere is back from playing with the New Zealand U17 team (along with four of the Rangitoto players).
Rangitoto will also come into the final looking for the win and retaining their 2014 title. They have only dropped three games and for the final will have all of their national reps back, having battled all season with many of the team missing games. Tai Wynyard is back after playing for the Tall Blacks in their series against Australia and helping them win the Stankovic Cup. Rangitoto also fields a large number of age grade New Zealand and regional reps, so will be confident going into the game.
The Auckland premier title has been dominated by North Shore schools over the past 10 years with seven titles ending up north of the bridge.
There will be celebrations at St Cuthbert's, Rangitoto and St Kentigern for their junior world champion cyclists.
As noted in Saturday's Herald, the New Zealand women's team pursuit not only beat Australia in the final in Kazakhstan, but also broke the world record in the process.
Holly White, Bryony Botha and Maddie Park, all of whom were profiled in College Sport over the past 12 months, were joined by Manawatu's Michaela Drummond in their moment of glory.
The time of 4.31.966 was good enough for a rainbow jersey and a new world mark. At the 2014 junior worlds, Botha and White were part of the bronze medal-winning team pursuiters. Park, of St Kentigern, also won bronze in the individual pursuit.
Midway through the Trans-Tasman Trophy, squash player Temwa Chileshe is picked as the one to beat in the competition which finishes on Friday.
The Year 10 St Paul's Collegiate student is the No 1 male in the New Zealand Junior Secondary Schools team and was selected for the spot with only a half-season under his belt.
Scouts kept a close eye on Chileshe.
The 15-year-old won the South Island juniors and Waikato junior age-groups and placed second in the North Island juniors.
"I was selected because of my overall points and how I had been going [for] the year," Chileshe said.
This is the second time that Chileshe will compete in the competition, having moved up the ranks from No 3 to No 1.
"It's exciting, I've been looking forward to it for a while. Being No 1 will be more challenging. I will be up against better skilled players."
When returning from the Trans-Tasman, Chileshe will move into the Under 17 age group which will bring some much-welcomed competition.
"I will move from being No 2 in the Under 15s to about 10th in the Under 17s so it's quite a big jump. There are a few people I am aiming to beat at nationals in October."
After that, Chileshe has his sights set on the World Junior Championships, following in the footsteps of squash idol Al Sheba.
"To make the New Zealand Worlds team you need to be in the top four in the New Zealand Under 19 division, so hopefully when I am 18 I can make that."