Three Kings reign supreme
Three Kings United were the only victors in football’s Lotto Northern Premier League central Auckland derby day on Saturday.
They prevailed 3-1 over Central United at Keith Hay Park to secure their status in the top flight for another season.
Warren Pinto’s goal put the home side in front on the halfhour, but Milos Nikolic missed a penalty in first-half stoppage time which would have ensured parity at the interval.
Three Kings doubled their lead through Dylan Stansfield soon after halftime.
Marshall Gurney made it 3-0 16 minutes before the end, with Central mustering a late consolation goal through Stephen Carmichael as their recent run of poor form continued.
Meanwhile, all the scoring came in the second half at Waikaraka Park, where Onehunga Sports’ Rory Kelly and Bay Olympic’s Ken Yamamoto were on target in this 1-1 draw.
The result did neither side any favours as both try to avoid the threat of relegation.
This Saturday ‘‘The Green Machine’’ head to Hamilton Wanderers.
Three Kings can do their local rivals a favour by beating Ellerslie at Michaels Ave on Saturday evening, while Central entertain title contenders Birkenhead United at Kiwitea St on Sunday afternoon.
It was a better day for Onehunga-Mangere United in the Lotto Northern League Second Division, with their 3-2 win over bottom-placed Manukau City.
‘‘The Mountain Men’’ prevailed thanks to goals from Hayden Cleere and two-goal marksman Ben Marumaru. They head to Tauranga on Sunday afternoon.
In Lotto Northern Premier Women’s League championship action, Three Kings United’s Jessie Mathews scored a late goal at Keith Hay Park, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Eastern Suburbs from winning 2-1. The result saw Eastern Suburbs win the title for the first time in 33 years.
This Sunday, Three Kings host Claudelands Rovers but they will be without two star players. Youngsters Martine Puketapu and Isabella Richards have been selected in the Young Ferns squad to take on Australia in a three-match series in Canberra, starting this Sunday.
Derby victors: Three Kings United’s Marshall Gurney racked up his side’s final goal to make it 3-1 over Central United at Keith Hay Park.