The No 1 Whanganui youth team has dealt a killer blow to its nemesis to finally take out the junior title at the 2016 National Roller Hockey Championships in Wellington over Labour Weekend.
Whanganui Roller Hockey Association president Dean Fitness said River City youth teams had often made the finals, but had succumbed to the traditionally strong Wellington crews to finish runners-up.
This year, while their inline cousins were battling it out at an inter-regional competition at Jubilee Stadium at the weekend, the Whanganui roller fraternity sent two youth sides and a senior men's team to Wellington.
The No 1 youth side began as they meant to carry on beating Motueka 7-0, before dealing to Whanganui No 2 14-5. Then came Wellington who failed to overawe the Whanganui lads this year.
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Whanganui ran out 5-1 winners to take the national title with 12 points from Wellington in second with 8. Motueka finished third with four points, while Whanganui No 2 ended up fourth with one point.
Whanganui also had the honour of having three of the top tournament goal scorers with Mitchell Lockett leading the charge in first with 21 goals, captain Jimi Blinkhorne third with 16 and Cody Lockett in fourth with 11.
Fitness said the depth in the junior ranks was proving a winner with most likely to make up national senior men's squads in the coming seasons.
In fact, through their Australian roller hockey counterparts, Fitness said a number of the juniors may yet be sent to a two week European training camp in Spain at the end of June next year.
"It's not set in stone, but it's something we are seriously looking at," Fitness said.
Meanwhile, Blinkhorne is set to head to Australia in January to play for a Melbourne Club in the Australian Day Cup week-long tournament.