1st XI Football Tournament Report | Scots College

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1st XI Football Tournament Report

After a challenging season in the Wellington league, placing 3rd in the Trevor Rigby Cup, the 1st XI football team set their sights on doing well at nationals, held in Napier over Winter Tournament Week.

After being cancelled for the past two years due to COVID-19, the team was looking forward to competing at nationals, many for the first time ever. Being placed into a group with Auckland Grammar, St Paul’s (Hamilton) and Timaru Boys, we knew we would have to be at our very best to progress through to the round of 16. We didn’t get off to a perfect start, drawing 2-2 with St Paul’s after conceding a penalty in the last minute. After this result, the team knew we needed to improve, and we did exactly that by comfortably beating Timaru Boys 5-0.

We knew a win against Auckland Grammar would guarantee us first place in the group and a spot in the round of 16. After being 3-0 up at half time and playing some of our best football, Auckland Grammar fought back towards the end, making it 3-2. We took the win, meaning we topped our group and would face New Plymouth boys in the round of 16. New Plymouth boys scored a wonder goal meaning we trailed early on. We were resilient and fought back, replying with two quick goals to make it 2-1. We stayed disciplined throughout the 2nd half, keeping the score at 2-1, and booking ourselves a place in the quarter finals, where we would come up against Palmerston North Boys High. It took us the first half to get going, but two second half strikes gave us the 2-0 win, qualifying for the semifinals against our great rivals HIBS.

HIBS scored midway through the first half, and despite our best efforts, we failed to find the back of the net, going down 1-0, which was heartbreaking for the team. We had to re-group and go again, as we had one last game and a chance to take home the bronze medal in the 3rd/4th playoff, playing St Paul’s for the 2nd time of the tournament. It was much like our first encounter, as the scores were tied at 1-1 after full time. This took the game to a dramatic penalty shootout. In a long and nervy shootout, Scots came out on top, winning 7-6.

Despite missing out on the final, the team are very happy with their efforts. 3rd place at nationals is the best finish for the 1st XI football team ever, with the previous best being 7th. The team are proud to create history for the school, with the hope that future 1st XI football teams are able to go further and become national champions one day soon.

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