Lightning 5s 2017 was held last weekend with 16 sides entered into the event with 10 men's and six women's teams.
The event is modelled off the Hockey Fast 5s concept seen at the Nanjing Youth Olympics in 2014. Teams consisting of four field players and one goalie play high-intensity games over a half field. These fields are surrounded by wooden boards to stop the ball from going out and teams are able to take shots at goal from anywhere.
The women's competition was taken out by the Sharks who had players from Manawatu, Wanganui and Taranaki (Saffy Cribb, Ana Spurdle, Hope Ralph and Claudia Gelling). They went through pool play undefeated and came up against Squad, a local side put together with Stratford and Hawera Premier Women players. The final was a tight contest in the first few minutes but the young legs of the Sharks came through, closing out the Final 8-1. Emma Rainey (Sharks) was awarded MVP of the final.
The men's draw was played as two pools of five, after round robin the Semi Finals were Benchwarmers vs Toko Pirates and NPBHS vs Stratford. Toko Pirates and NPBHS won their semi finals to meet in the final. Again, the men's final was played at a great pace and both teams created a lot of chances, but with Toko Pirates only field an eight-man squad for the final their legs fell off and NPBHS was able to capitalise on this converting their chances and winning the final 5-1. MVP of the final Daniel Foss (NPBHS)
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Top Goal Scorer men: Lloyd McLoughlin. Top Goal Scorer women: Hope Ralph. Umpire of the Tournament: Glen Taylor.