Waikato Lacrosse fulfilled a long-term dream with the first U15 girls district tournament at Tamahere Park last weekend.
The tournament aimed to encourage and develop age-group players from the region with eight teams having lined up to play. Three teams were from Waipa, two from Matamata-Piako, and one each from Hamilton and Thames Valley. The tournament was run with seven players on each team, with short 10-minute halves.
Waikato Lacrosse president Ursula Johnson says: "We are super-excited that we could get this going ; the level of lacrosse - for a group of U15s - was amazing. It has been a dream for us to get something like this going in the Waikato to provide some opportunities to have tournament experience without having to travel, and to be able to play as a district within a competition."
Waipa 1 took out the winner's trophy after a 5-2 victory against Waipa 2. Billed as a "nuggety" final against two evenly matched sides, the scoreline was 2-all at halftime, before Waipa 1 pulled ahead in the second half to score three unanswered goals and take overall honours.
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In the playoff for third and fourth place, Hamilton emerged on top against Waipa 3 by 6 goals to 2. The Hamilton side had dominated play on the first day of the tournament to lead the rankings, but had to fight on day two as the other sides improved with more match time.
The next major event for the U15 players (boys and girls) will be the New Zealand U15 National Tournament on September 18 and 19 to be held in Auckland. The district tournament will be a major foundation block in the Waikato teams' preparation.
Waikato District U15 Girls Tournament 2021 results
First: Waipa 1
Second: Waipa 2
Most Improved team: Thames Valley
Umpire of the tournament: Moshe Malal
Best goalie of the tournament: Katie Hallifax
Coach of the tournament: Isabelle Vrensen