MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF
Fraser Tech claimed the Midlands Intercity women’s hockey title on Saturday, completing a perfect campaign in the wider region’s premier competition.
They beat University 4-2 in the final in Pukekohe, thanks to a Kate Kernaghan hat-trick, and another from Kayla Povey.
University had been the only team to beat Fraser Tech this winter, in Waikato play before the Midlands action began, and they played their part in an absorbing encounter, with Ellie McCleary scoring both their goals.
Fraser Tech led 2-1 at halftime, having had their first goal cancelled out by McCleary, and then went up 3-1 early in the third quarter, before McCleary struck again to bring her side back into it.
READ MORE: Final to be an all-Waikato affair
Kernaghan, the competition’s leading goalscorer, then converted a penalty stroke to complete her hat-trick and push the margin back out to two, which was where it remained at the final whistle.
Fraser Tech coach Kayla Wilson said it felt amazing to get the win.
“We’d already played them twice this season, and they’d beaten us the first time, and we beat them the second time, so we knew this game was going to be really hard.
“The girls just gave it everything. We just outplayed them, all over the pitch, and got the win from that, which was really awesome.”
Challenges have been few and far between for Fraser Tech in the Midlands competition this season, where they scored 97 goals in their 15 games while conceding only 12.
Wilson said the key to keeping their ruthless edge was making sure they approached every game in the same manner.
“We have a really great team and really good players, and if we turn up and we have the right attitude and we want to play well, we usually do really good and get the win.
“[On Saturday] it was about not getting ahead of ourselves. We knew it was going to be a really tough game – they’ve got some really good players, and a Black Stick in their team as well [Natasha Fitzsimons] – so we just had to make sure we played our game and didn’t take them for granted.”
The men’s title will also be spending the summer in the Waikato, after Collegians came from behind to beat Kohekohe 2-1, thanks to two goals from Daniel Scanlon. Collegians’ Stuart Pitu was named competition MVP.
Women’s final: Fraser Tech 4 (Kernaghan 3, Povey) beat University 2 (McCleary)
Men’s final: Collegians 2 (Scanlon 2) beat Kohekohe 1 (Hunt)