07 Jun 2024

Friday 07 June 2024

Read on for a wrap-up of the King's vs Grammar First XI hockey match.

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Boys First XI 2 - 2 Auckland Grammar

The Boys Hockey First XI put in a superb performance in their annual Birchall Shield Match against Auckland Grammar, drawing 2-2 in a thrilling match in Mt Eden that was an excellent example of schoolboy hockey.

Having not won the Birchall Shield since 2015, King’s knew they had a tough job on their hands but, from the very first whistle, they took the game to Grammar and never gave their opposition a chance to settle. Moving the ball early and at pace, they had Grammar defending furiously and their opposition hardly got a touch in the first quarter.

Five minutes into the second quarter and the deadlock was broken. It was Tim Hamilton (Year 13, Marsden) who grabbed the goal, his eighth of the season, when he neatly deflected Scott Illerbrun’s (Year 13, School) pass at a penalty corner high into the net. King’s continued to dominate the first half with some scintillating hockey and a prodigious performance. In the second half, King’s pushed for a second and it was Illerbrun who claimed it with a low penalty corner flick which gave the goalkeeper no chance, his tenth of the season in only his sixth game. 2-0 to King’s.

The team pushed hard for a third and went close to a couple of occasions which would have put the game to bed but Grammar were fighting back strongly and reduced the deficit to 2-1 with a scrappy goal in the 36th minute. A fiercely competitive match ensued with the game switching from end to end before with five minutes remaining, Grammar levelled the scores at 2-2. In the last minute, King’s had a chance to score a dramatic winner but the chance was spurned and the honours were even.

It is difficult to single out individuals on what was a conglomerate effort from the team with all players contributing to the excellent performance, but Illerbrun, Tom Migounoff (Year 13, St John's) and Ben Wigmore (Year 13, Marsden) all demonstrated why they are influential provincial players. The result will give the team considerable encouragement for the rest of the season, going toe to toe with last year’s national bronze medallists.

The result also puts King’s in second position in the Auckland Secondary School table with Westlake Boys top and the two teams going head to head in a fortnight.

Next Wednesday, the team travels to the North Shore to play Rosmini College at 6.20pm.