Foot­ballers cel­e­brate wins

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JEREMY RUANE AND JU­LIAN RAETHEL

Three lo­cal der­bies high­lighted the week­end’s ac­tion in the NRFL with Bay Olympic, Cen­tral United and both Three Kings United pre­mier sides claim­ing brag­ging rights at the con­clu­sion of well­con­tested af­fairs.

Bay were the first cab off the rank, edg­ing West­ern Springs 2-1 at Olympic Park on May 2.

Alan Fer­gu­son’s goal clinched the points for the home team, af­ter Jared Col­li­gan’s penalty had been matched by Ge­orge Deben­ham’s lev­eller for ‘‘The Hoops’’. Twenty-four hours later, Cen­tral came from be­hind to down One­hunga Sports 2-1 at Ki­witea Street.

In a game stacked with Auck­land City and Team Welling­ton play­ers, Cen­tral coach Jose Figueira was treated to a classy match all the way through.

‘‘It was re­ally, re­ally tense,’’ he says.

Caleb Rufer put the Green Ma­chine in front from the penalty spot but Dean Lau­sev and Mario Ilich turned things around for Figueira’s charges, who leap-frog the beaten side into sev­enth spot on the ta­ble with this win.

‘‘We were be­gin­ning to con­trol the game once we scored the sec­ond goal . . . but we didn’t want to rest on our lau­rels,’’ Figueira says.

Com­plet­ing the men’s vic­to­ries were Three Kings who eclipsed Eastern Sub­urbs 4-2 at Madills Farm.

Cameron Philpott’s two goals and an Al­lan Pearce penalty helped steer the vis­i­tors to victory.

Three Kings lie in fifth place, a point be­hind Bay Olympic. The May 3 NRFL women’s play saw the spot­light fall on the ‘‘old firm’’ derby, as an­other chap­ter un­folded in the great ri­valry. Three Kings claimed the spoils at the end of the day, but were made to work hard for their 2-0 win by a plucky Lyn­nAvon com­bi­na­tion which sim­ply re­fused to buckle in the face of per­sis­tent pres­sure from the vis­i­tors to Ken Maun­der Park. Three Kings turned to their bench, with Mar­tine Puke­tapu prov­ing a more than use­ful su­per sub.

Still work­ing through shoul­der and an­kle in­juries, Puke­tapu needed lit­tle time to prove her worth in the 69th minute.

Tak­ing on two play­ers she slid the ball un­der the keeper to score af­ter only three min­utes of tak­ing the field.

Three Kings coach Alan Hind­son says it was an­other mas­ter stroke from his cen­tre-for­ward.

Cap­tain Jessie Mathews guided home a crossshot from birth­day girl Hannah Wall 12 min­utes later to en­sure Three Kings’ ti­tle chal­lenge wouldn’t be ham­pered by their arch-ri­vals’ spir­ited re­silience.

NRFL re­sults – round eight Men’s pre­mier league:

Pho­tos: PHOTOTEK

Cen­tral United’s Danyon Drake makes a save.

Cen­tral United’s Re­gont Mu­rati beats One­hunga’s Ko­hei Tezuka.

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