Old hands make a big the difference in key league game
Experience was the key for Mt Albert after they defeated previously unbeaten Otahuhu 54-4 in the Fox preliminary league series on Saturday.
Mt Albert coach Brent Gemmell says many of his players are battle-hardened after several years playing in the now defunct Bartercard Cup competition.
And none were more valuable to the club at Bert Henham Park than former New Zealand A standoff Steve Buckingham, who has had several weeks off due to his recent marriage.
“Steve’s got a long history with league in New Zealand,” Gemmell says.
“He controlled the game beautifully for us.”
Mt Albert led 18-0 at halftime. Gemmell says things really opened up in the second half.
“Otahuhu defended a lot, which put them under a lot of pressure and they wilted in the last 20 minutes.
“It was quite easily our best performance of the year.”
Meanwhile, Marist continued their surge up the ladder with a comprehensive 58-0 victory over Richmond at Grey Lynn Park.
And Ponsonby picked up their first win of the season, defeating Pakuranga 46-10 at Victoria Park.
Unfortunately for Bay Roskill, they suffered another heavy defeat, losing out to Glenora 76-16 at Blockhouse Bay.
This Saturday Mt Albert host Papakura at Fowlds Park, Richmond take on Ponsonby at Grey Lynn Park, Bay Roskill face Manurewa at Leabank Park and Marist play Te Atatu at Murray Halberg Park.
All matches start at 2.30pm.