Three Kings reign supreme

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE

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.

Photo: PHOTOTEK

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.

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