In the Men’s matches Suburbs and Ecolab Te Awamutu played their match earlier (Thursday) to avoid clashes with U18 tournament commitments. Suburbs, after suffering their only first round defeat at the hands of Te Awamutu, came out firing and were rewarded early through an Aaron McNabb goal. Jonathan Bloor added a second after a period of sustained pressure and took full toll of some excellent umpiring advantage from Tim Woods. Suburbs dominated both territorially and with possession and turned that advantage into a second well taken team goal finished off by Bloor for a handy 3-Nil half time lead. Bloor should have converted his hat trick after another stunning piece of team work from Suburbs left him with just the keeper to beat but his shot was easily parried away. Ryan Brewer opened the second half scoring with a PC variation and Leon Teao showed his dribbling prowess to beat the keeper for a fifth Suburbs goal. Bloor was eventually rewarded when getting his hat trick to close out the match and the 6-0 drubbing secures Suburbs 2nd spot behind Old Boys who were made to fight all the way against CBD University on Saturday.
In an action packed first half, University came out strongly and wrested the early advantage through an Abir Mukherjee deflection off an accurately delivered Tony Hopping cross. The lead was short lived as Kyle Ostenfeld reacted quickest to convert a rebounded PC to level the scores and drag flick specialist Richard Petherick needed no assistance in converting a PC to take a 2-1 lead. Jono Mackie extended Old Boys advantage after a goal mouth scramble found it’s way into the students goal and Sam Brennan added salt to the wounds with a fifth. Jitesh Sima was allowed to pick his mark in reducing the lead just before the break to give University some heart. The score line wasn’t a true reflection of an evenly contested half but Old Boys were more clinical in finishing off half chances. Mukherjee furthered his sides comeback when opening the second half scoring with a rifling reversed tomahawk. Petherick was again accurate at PC time this time going low to extend the lead to 6-3 and snuff out the students comeback aspirations. Brook Daly optimised the students resolve in trying to the end and was rewarded when converting the final goal and add some respectability to the score line. The 6-4 win was enough to secure top spot for Old Boys even though they have the bye next week.
In the Women’s matches Hamilton Old Girls and a fast improving Ecolab Te Awamutu had a tight tussle in an evenly contested first half with the only difference being a telling intercept from speedster Helene Barron who found an unmarked Jeanna Richardson to slot home from close range. Richardson had more to do when extending the lead early into the second half and then Barron showed clinical finishing to extended the lead beyond Te Awamutu’s reach. Karen Matthews capped off another busy game to seal the 4-0 win but the scoreline bore no reflection to Te Awamutu’s involvement in the game. Old Girls defensively were outstanding with Nicky Pearce in midfield and Janine Parry and Rochelle Spence at the back minimising any danger and when they were breached goal tender Anita Hope showed ninja like skills to keep a clean slate.
In the other match Suburbs proved too strong for bottom placed PR Carter Contracting University scoring a brace in each half to run out 4-0 winners. Bayleigh Stirling and Julena Phillips had given Suburbs a handy 2-0 lead and unlike last week they held onto their lead and sealed the vital 3 points with second half goals to Holly Miller and Renee Ngatai. The win keeps Suburbs in Semi Final contention but they will need all their resolve in the final match against top of the table Fraser Tech.
Report by Vaughan Hilton