The Hokonui Militaires saved their best for last to finish third at the New Zealand Marching Competitions in Invercargill during the weekend.
Militaires co-coach Toni Grumball said despite some initial nerves in the qualifying march on Friday, the team qualified in the top six to compete in the under-12 national championship the next day.
She and co-coach Tracy McDonald believed the team completed its best march of the year to finish third.
“The championship grade was very closely contested and it could have gone any way,” Grumball said.
In the championship they faced Glennette of Wellington, Eclipse of Canterbury, Buckingham Guards of Hawke’s Bay, Onyx Militaires of Otago, Railfreight of Waikato, and Burlington of Hawke’s Bay.
The two Hokonui Militaries teams had pushed each other all season long “and it has brought the best out of both teams to have that strong competition”, she said.