Top game be­fore heav­ens open

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Morgan and Jeremy Ruane

Cen­tral United sur­vived the el­e­ments on their way to crush­ing Pa­p­a­toe­toe 7-0 in a wa­ter-logged match on Sun­day in the North­ern Pre­mier Foot­ball League.

A sec­ond Grant Young hat­trick at home this sea­son in­spired the reign­ing cham­pi­ons to vic­tory, with Alex Fener­idis, Salesh Ku­mar, Dave Rich­mond and Luiz Del Monte also chim­ing in be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle.

Cen­tral coach Peter Martin says he is pleased with the way his side per­formed in the first half be­fore tor­ren­tial rain ar­rived at Ki­witea St dur­ing half­time.

“The game was dead by then – it wasn’t good foot­ball.”

Martin’s side are likely to face a much tougher propo­si­tion in their Chatham Cup tie with Kevin Fal­lon’s Mt Al­bert Gram­mar team next week.

“They’re coached by a guy with one of the best records in the coun­try,” he says.

“It makes for a prob­lem tie – we don’t want to trip up. We’ve got to have the very best side out there in the very best frame of mind.”

Mean­while in other pre­mier league ac­tion, Lynn-Avon United now share sec­ond place with East­ern Sub­urbs af­ter draw­ing 2-2 with Metro on Fri­day evening at Al­bie Turner Field.

Hon­ours were also even when Three Kings United took on Mt Al­bert-Pon­sonby, with the scores tied up 1-1 at full­time, while Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers thrashed Bay Olympic 4-1.

And One­hunga Sports climbed into the top six af­ter tak­ing out Melville United 2-1 at Waikaraka Park.

In first di­vi­sion ac­tion, it was a good day for One­hun­gaMan­gere United and West­ern Springs, who recorded wins against Pukekohe 1-0 and Waiuku 2-1 re­spec­tively.

Satur­day’s Chatham Cup tie be­tween Cen­tral United and Mt Al­bert Gram­mar takes place at the school and Metro face East Coast Bays at Phyl­lis St, with both games start­ing at 2pm.

And Satur­day’s pre­mier league matches see Mt Al­bert­trav­el­ling to Tau­ranga City United while Three Kings en­joy home ad­van­tage against One­hunga Sports at Keith Hay Park from 2.45pm.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Splish splash: Cen­tral’s Adam Thomas, left, and Pa­p­a­toe­toe’s Ricky Ezpinoza strug­gle for pos­ses­sion in the wet dur­ing their North­ern Pre­mier League match at Ki­witea St on Sun­day.

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