Historic win for Cambridge High

Cambridge High School’s 1st XI hockey team, pictured with the Olympic Stick trophy and the Bartholomew Cup.

Cambridge High School’s 1st XI boys’ hockey team is celebrating two of the biggest achievements in its history.

The team has beaten St Paul’s Collegiate for the first time since the two schools began clashing 66 years ago, in 1957.

In doing so it has become only the third team from a New Zealand co-educational state school to win the Bartholomew Cup.

“We’ve never beaten St Paul’s before – they have professional coaches, a director of hockey, multimillion dollar facilities – it’s pretty amazing for us to beat a team like that,” said Cam Bichan, who is in his fifth year of co-coaching the team with Michael Atkin.

“To be in the context of some of the schools that have won it is really exciting, so I’m proud of the boys,” he said.

First put up for grabs in 2013, the Bartholomew Cup is the New Zealand secondary school boys’ hockey equivalent of rugby’s Ranfurly Shield – a national challenge cup contested when its holders host a home game.

St Paul’s won it when they beat New Plymouth Boys’ High School at the Rankin Cup, an elite national secondary school boys’ hockey tournament, last September.

Cambridge High School’s 1st XI wasn’t aware the cup was on the line when they took on St Paul’s in their third Waikato Hockey Association U18 A competition match on May 10 and were “stoked” to discover their 2-1 victory had secured them the silverware.

James Rouse was involved in both of Cambridge’s goals, sending a scorcher past the keeper to put his side ahead 1-0, and later combining with Mazz McIndoe to tap in a second goal.

Thomas Hocking, who co-captains the 1st XI with Cameron Butler, said the win demonstrated the development his team had gone through over the past 5-7 years.

“We should be very proud of this accomplishment; it’s very big and there’s a very positive outlook for our hockey,” he said.

He put the success down to his team’s close-knit culture and “two incredible coaches”.

The 1st XI is surfing a wave of success after winning last year’s Olympic Stick qualifying tournament in Hamilton and, in another first, gaining entry into 2023’s elite Rankin Cup tournament.

The team was scheduled to take on St John’s College in their first Bartholomew Cup defence yesterday.

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