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Riley Sa College Basketball webRiley Sa. Photo supplied.A tough night at the office is probably the only way that the Ashburton College boys’ basketball team could describe their trip to Rangiora High School on Tuesday night.

After managing to pip the Rangiora side in overtime in front of a home crowd earlier in the season, the Ashcoll boys headed to North Canterbury full of hope, but came up against a passionate side who had everything to play for in front of a large fan base.

Ultimately, foul troubles, which sent a number of key players to the bench, led to the side falling to a heavy 95-60 defeat.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though with College setting all the early pace in the match through man-to-man defence working well, with the Ashburton boys taking a 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Those problematic fouls meant that the side had to go to the bench earlier than they would have liked and it impacted on the cohesion of the College side at both ends of the court.

That, coupled with a hungry Rangiora side who really got into their work inside the second quarter, went into the halfway break down by eight, 32-40.

The third quarter offered up more of the same and adding insult to injury, Rangiora started to find their rhythm from outside the three point line.

That led to them extending their lead to 67-46 at the end of the third.

Try as they might, College were unable to bridge the gap and with three of their starting line-up on the bench, it was always going to be a case of too hard and Rangiora ran away comfortable winners.

Coach Brian Kerr said a number of factors led to his side’s demise.

“There are a lot of things which certainly didn’t help our cause especially when Fotu Hala spent much of his time on the bench after picking up early fouls,” Kerr said.

“We were also hindered by some injury niggles before and during the game (Quinn Ritchie and Sam Pearce) which limited their time on the court”.

A 20-8 foul count played a big impact on the match as well.

“It was just one of those games were we didn’t get much going our way.”

Will Joyce led the scoring for College with 11 points, including two from beyond the three-point line.

Riley Sa contributed 10 points and Mitch Ruffell shot well for his 10 points.

Kerr said that while the loss was disappointing, being able to get everyone good minutes on the court and toughing it out against a good side did have its benefits.

“They never dropped their heads and kept battling away,” he said.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 2 August 2019

rugby boys69The search is on for members of the 1969 Ashburton College First XV rugby side. Photo SuppliedThe celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first steps taken by man on the moon prompted ex-Ashburton College student Garry Hampton to start thinking about half century celebrations that were closer to home.

He realised that 1969 also marked his final year at college and dug out the school’s magazine of that year. Flicking through the pages started him thinking about fellow students who had been close mates, many of whom he had lost touch with.

Many of those mates were fellow members of the school’s First XV and when he looked at the end of year photo of the team, Hampton said he realised how many of those students he had lost touch with.

“You drag out an old photo, you look at it and wonder and I realised I didn’t know what a lot of those guys had got up to, where they were now,” he said.

Hampton managed to track down some of the team and enlisted the help of a local, Colin Morgan, to find others, but said he’s still looking for around eight players from the past.

“I am keen to organise a reunion of the team, probably over Christchurch Show weekend this year, but of course tracking them down will be the challenge.”

His own rugby career didn’t end with his school days, and Hampton was active for many years as a touch rugby coach and referee and only stopped playing golden oldies rugby eight years ago.

He’s hoping to have a reunion dinner in Christchurch for team members and their wives and partners and is keen to hear from anyone who has contact details for the team of 1969 members.

Hampton can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 30 July 2019

Ashburton Shooting Team Oamaru web1The Target Shooting Mid Canterbury team with their silverware haul from Oamaru. Photo supplied.Mid Canterbury’s smallbore rifle shooters were on target in Oamaru at the weekend, ensuring their name will be the latest engraved on the prestigious Andrews and Faulkner Shield.

The Andrews and Faulkner was the South Island Association’s teams championship event involving 16 open teams of 12 shooters, and eight junior teams of five shooting for the Greenhough Trophy, and after finishing an agonisingly close second in the big show last year, the team from Target Shooting Mid Canterbury (TSMC) headed south with a point to prove.

Hosted by the North Otago and East Otago Associations on a 16-mound temporary range at Oamaru’s Waitaki Recreation Centre on Saturday, it was a huge day which TSMC president Nina McKenzie said ended with ‘total euphoria’ for the Mid Canterbury shooters.

“This is a very old and prestigious trophy in our sport with a rich history and we are both proud and humbled to be the holders,” McKenzie said.

The course of fire was a double target first (200.20), followed by a single target (100.10), for a maximum possible 300.30, per shooter – a format designed to build pressure throughout the day, as each team had one shooter per round, with updates published every 30-60 minutes.

“No further updates are given once the last three-four shooters are left, meaning that the final result is only revealed at the prizegiving and dinner that follows the event,” McKenzie said.

TSMC’s day started well with great opening scores from lead-outs, McKenzie and Sandy Bennett, followed by brothers Nick and TJ Stewart, and at the first progress point Mid Canterbury were leading the open match.

McKenzie said excellent scoring from their two ‘senior’ juniors, Shania Harrison-Lee and Emma Smith – with a personal best of 100.8 as part of her double – continued the trend, while Colin Taylor had a steady and slightly unlucky double, which was followed by a cracker from Bill Rankin.

Due to ill health and with great regret, Bryan Hunter had to withdraw before the event and Charlotte McKenzie, a rising junior, stepped up to take his place.

“The loss of such experience and skill right before a big match would see many teams falter, but the team belief was firm and Charlotte produced a very good double, which was followed with a sound performance by the captain Steve McArthur,” Nina McKenzie said.

Keith Bonnington and Andrew McKenzie produced almost matching targets and at the half-way point TSMC had a promising lead.

Their open team averaged 194.9 for the double card round while in the junior match, lead-out Amelia Swan soaked up the pressure on her first time on a foreign range and and produced an outstanding double.

Two veterans of the junior team, Smith and Harrison-Lee, also produced commanding double results, before Jack McIntosh and Jacob Kilworth took the mound and shot together, with Charlotte McKenzie finishing things off.

Nina McKenzie said the single card rounds were a joy to behold.

“The team knew that they needed to keep the pressure right on, and without exception every single member stood up.”

The card of the round belonged to Smith, with a 99.8 and the narrowest tester for another possible.

The single card average was 97.6 for the team, with no member under 96.

TSMC’s juniors were in a tight race with Ashley and Nelson, and were second by two single points going into the last round, but stayed in that runner-up spot with Ashley just taking out the Greenhough Trophy by five single shots.

In the open grade, Mid Canterbury returned home the Andrews and Faulkner champions, while Nelson were second and Ashley third, with last year’s winners Marlborough fourth.

It was a huge weekend for all, but particularly for Harrison-Lee who was named top shot for both the open and junior competitions, while McArthur, Bennett, Harrison-Lee, Nick Stewart and Nina McKenzie took out the top five trophy, and TJ Stewart, Smith, Taylor, Rankin and Charlotte McKenzie took the second five trophy.

Harrison-Lee was also awarded with individual South Island trophies, which were shot for several weeks ago, but saved for presenting at the event.

She was junior, women’s, masters and open champion, which was an oustanding result for a junior.

TSMC’s Andrews and Faulkner win will see them go on to face North Island Association Champions, Manawatu, for the coveted Candyman Cup and the title of national association champion.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 30 July 2019