In a tense final for the Curtis Cup Wanganui snatched the title with a golden moment in the under-13 boys hockey match against Hawke's Bay in Levin yesterday.
At the final whistle the two sides were locked at 2-all, forcing the game to go into extra time allowing each team to score the "Golden Goal". The Golden Goal is awarded to the first team to score in extra time. That honour went to the Wanganui lads eight minutes into extra time.
On the road to the final Wanganui beat hot favourites and title holders Wellington 5-nil, Horowhenua 3-0, Rangitikei 5-1 and Wairarapa 8-0 before taking on a strong Manawatu side in the semifinal. Wanganui demolished Manawatu 4-0 to make the final against Hawke's Bay.
Wanganui coach Andrew Spence said he was proud of his boys who had worked tirelessly together to secure the victory and the Curtis Cup.
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"The goals were spread around most of the boys during the entire tournament and that reflected the team work involved," Spence said yesterday.
"I'm really proud of them. There were no real standouts in our side, it was simply determination to work as a team that won us the title.
We had not met Hawke's Bay all season let alone at this tournament, so we didn't quite know what to expect. It was a really tense, close game."
A minute into the second spell of extra time Ryan Gray scored from a penalty corner. Gray had scored an earlier goal as did teammate Chris Ferguson.
Wanganui first won the Curtis Cup in 1999, then again in 2001 and now a decade later their third.
Meanwhile, the Wanganui under-13 girls wound up seventh equal in the Rawleighs Trophy on home turf at the Gonville Domain yesterday when drawing 1-all with Rangitikei.