Congratulation to the Football 1st XI who are the NZSS Premier Boys' Champions!
The First XI went where no other Tauranga BC football team has gone before in the 65 year history of the school by becoming National Champions in Napier today. The trailblazing teams of 1991 and 1993 that made the semis and the golden generation of 2002 that lost the final have been usurped by the champions of 2022.
After an outstanding season that had witnessed the retention of the Super 8 in scintillating quality with the demolition of Hamilton BHS, the team approached Nationals with the favourites tag firmly attached to them.
Strolling through group play with wins over two former champion schools, Nelson College 5-0 and St Kents, 3-1 accompanied by a solid 5-1 rout of Christ's College, expectations continued to rise. In the round of 16 Westlake BHS were flattered by a 4-0 result and then a mind numbing 9-0 victory was recorded in the quarters against Mount Albert. Many a TBC lad remembers the dark days of the MAGS dynasty built on recruitment as opposed to development and perhaps no victory has been music to the ears of the old boy contingent.
Just when you thought it would be one way traffic St Paul's stuck to a solid game plan in the semi final that was only undone with the last kick of the game thanks to the desperation of Xavier Maddox.
The final showpiece on Bluewater Stadium against Hutt International Boys' School proved to be an epic contrast of styles that eventually was favoured by the football gods towards the most enterprising side. Early pressure saw Jonty Bidois's fabulous header break the net from George Brown's pinpoint cross after a mere two minutes. Almost immediately TBC spurned a chance from the penalty spot that would have blown the game wide open. From then on chances for TBC were plentiful but the threat remained on the counter from the pacy HIBS forwards.
A defensive lapse saw TBC concede a penalty for the only time in 22 games this season but Troy Taylor, resplendent in orange, saved courageously to retain the lead.
The second half saw more of an end to end struggle. Alex Searle thought he had doubled the lead only to be denied by the offside flag and multiple goalmouth scrambles saw HIBS survive, often in miraculous circumstances. All this ultimatley lead to a final assault by HIBS that Tauranga BC somehow managed to weather thanks to the heroics of Taylor and the back four of Zach Bryant, Kyan Cundy, George Brown and the rock that is Henry Kemp.
The blast of the final whistle resulted in absolute scenes as the players rushed to congratulate each other. For the coaches, Howie and AB, it was a magnum opus that culminated in the time and effort of their nine seasons together.
Tauranga BC has became only the 6th school from outside Auckland to win the trophy in it's 45 year history and has finished the season with a 20-1-1 record with 120 goals scored and a mere 12 against
Thanks for all the support over the year