After a weekend of intense competition, the New Zealand Interzone Championships have concluded at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre.
As in the U18 championships in October 2020, it was the North that won the women’s category. Led by world champions Christie Whitehead, Emma Baavelar and captain Paige Moran, the Northern team finished secound in the Round Robin after losing to the Central team. A team that also has a lot of international players, including Elite World Champion Leah Chamberlain-Gunn and U24 World Champion Anastasia Burn. In the end, after a hard-fought game, Paige Moran and her teammates won 3-2 with a crucial goal with one minute left in the game. The Northern women’s team finished the tournament with only four goals conceded, all against Central. They retained their title for the ninth consecutive year.
Paige Moran on Sky Sport Next : ‘Yesterday’s loss was a wake-up call. We watched the game, studied our opponents and made changes. I’m very proud of the way the team worked together today.’
In the men’s competition, too, the big names were present in the final with no less than six defending world champions. In the Round Robin, the two teams were tied 2-2, their only upset as they won all other matches. After a tough battle, the Central team was able to outscore their opponents at the end of the game with 2 goals in less than a minute. Thanks to Alistair Ford, Nick Healy and Jeremy Webster, Centre wins 2-0 and takes the title of Interzone Men’s Championship.
Jeremy Webster on Sky Sport Next : ‘At 1-0 with only a few minutes to play, they had to take more risks and we took advantage of that.‘
See you in October for the national championships where we should see the same players defending their club colors. In the meantime, the clubs of the same region will compete next month, and don’t forget the school championships !