It was another rare sweep of the weekend for the Whanganui teams in their respective Hockey Manawatu divisions after victories of bottom-table sides at Palmerston North's Twin Turfs on Saturday.
As predicted, the undefeated Whanganui men completed their goal of making ten straight victories in Premier Reserve with a 5-1 victory over winless High School Hockey Club B, who to be fair did play a lot better than the 6-0 shut out when the sides last met at McDonald's Stadium in May.
"[The streak] was the only thing I cared about, it was not a particularly great game," said senior player Calum Wilbur.
Playing in a travelling side with only one reserve, Travis Bayler opened the scoring with a nice individual play where he beat a couple of defenders in the air to hit the bouncing ball with his reverse stick for the goal.
Veteran Stu Thornton scored goals in both the second and fourth quarters off straight strikes, while Bayler picked up his double in the second quarter after another nice move to clear defenders and then slide the ball home.
Wilbur himself scored when he showed his experience by timing it right to stop the ball when HSHC B were attacking it, and while they were skidding to a stop to turn around and chase him, he had already gone and beat the keeper.
"That was the difference from first grade players, or guys who have been first grade, and second grade."
HSHC B never quit trying and got their reply goal in the fourth quarter.
Whanganui will now move up into the new four-team Middle Division, bringing with them College B, whose 3-1 win over Massey Reserves was enough to secure second on the points table, just ahead of Marton HC despite their 5-1 win over Marist B.
Coming down from Premier will be winless Palmerston North Boys High, giving Whanganui a chance to prove a point as they were the ones relegated at the start of the year during Hockey Manawatu's shakeup of the grades, instead of the schoolboys.
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Also coming down is HSHC A, who with a 4-2-4 season record were unlucky as they lost 2-1 to the top Premier team College A on Saturday, while the Massey Premiers picked up a 5-2 win over PNBHS to move up equal on the points table but with a better differential.
Wilbur is confident of Whanganui having a good showing in the division, given they've already beaten College B twice – 3-2 in April and 5-0 in June – while looking forward to correcting the PNBHS 'mistake', which just leaves HSHC A.
And that will be a fun occasion, given HSHC A have Whanganui's former team mates in Craig Hilbourne, Hayden Mullen and Zach Yearbury.
In Women's Premier, Whanganui now have breathing space in fourth spot ahead of winless Massey after beating them 3-1.
After worrying signs being down 1-0 at halftime, Whanganui scored twice in the third quarter and then put the match away in the fourth.
Massey chances weren't helped by losing their leading player to suspected concussion, which will be the end of her season.
Two of the Symes women – Anna and Maggie – scored goals, as did Lily Sherriff.
"The young girls played the weekend and got quite a bit of game time," said captain Colleen Baylis.
"Some of them started to make some good connections, which is great to see."
"Robbie [Matthews] led the charge from the middle, and when we got the ball moving and used the space, it looked really good, so a confidence booster for us."
Whanganui women (2-2-4) will be on the bye this coming weekend, while the men will have their opening game of the Middle Division, before taking a break for the Under 18 tournament week.