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Intense game . . . St Kevin's College player Fenella Ballantyne (left) and Pirata Blue's Troy Chikowore battle for the ball. PHOTO: DAVE BOYLE

Pirata Blue is the 2020 North Otago senior hockey champion.

Pirata defeated St Kevin’s College Girls First XI 1-0 in a hard-fought final last weekend.

Young gun Troy Chikowore scored the game’s only goal.

St Kevin’s applied a lot of pressure in the final quarter, but some body-on-the-line defence by Pirata prevented the school side from getting an equaliser.

North Otago Hockey president Jared Ovens said it had been a good season, despite the disruptions of Covid-19.

“It was a funny stop-start sort of season, but we managed to get through it,” Ovens said.

“The standard of hockey jumped up this year, [games were] a lot closer than some of the scores were.

“As people played they just got better and better.”

The competition had seven teams this year and, given quite a few players had pulled out of this year because of Covid-19, Ovens was hopeful they would return next year and the competition would grow.

Having fans at the finals was a bonus, he said.

“There is nothing like a good crowd to get involved for the finals.”

Tainui/St Kevin’s Development beat Pirata White 1-0 to finish third, and Waitaki Boys’ High School First XI had a 3-1 win over Waitaki Girls’ First XI to finish fifth.

Summer hockey will again go ahead this year, but details are yet to be confirmed.