Top east sides line up in sea­son play­offs

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PJ TAY­LOR

‘‘Fen­ci­bles can win ti­tle; Hor­nets, St Kents and Botany Downs Sec­ondary in the semi-fi­nals.’’

Un­beaten can claim football’s Lotto NRFL se­cond di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship ti­tle this week­end and the sce­nario is sim­ple - they must win.

With two matches re­main­ing in the 22-game home and away league sea­son, Fen­ci­bles and Wai­heke Utd have al­ready se­cured the pro­mo­tion spots to be el­e­vated to di­vi­sion one for next year, and now it’s a straight drag race to the crown be­tween the first and se­cond-placed sides.

It’s al­ready been an his­toric sea­son for both. Af­ter 20 rounds, Fen­ci­bles lead di­vi­sion two with 54 points, from a mem­o­rable un­de­feated run of 17 vic­to­ries and three draws. It’s the best ever run of form for the pre­mier side of the proud How­ick Paku­ranga club. They’ve scored 70 goals and con­ceded only 17.

Wai­heke trail by four points on 50, with 15 wins and five draws, 62 goals for and 19 against.

Last Satur­day, Fen­ci­bles beat Ngongo­taha AFC 3-1 at home on a patchy River­hills Park, which bereft of green grass looked like a desert.

They would have had a stern half­time team talk, hav­ing fallen be­hind 0-1 to a Cor­mac Waller goal for the vis­i­tors on five min­utes, but se­cond half scores by Jar­rod Young, Scott Booker and Jack Allen kept the cham­pi­onship push on track. Wai­heke won 4-0 away at Al­bany Utd, and face bot­tom-placed Pa­p­a­toe­toe AFC at home this Satur­day.

Fen­ci­bles’ big fix­ture this Satur­day is a tough as­sign­ment too, away to third-placed Taka­puna AFC at Ta­haroto Park, 3pm.

The Auck­land club rugby league pre­mier grade year also comes down to a huge clash this Satur­day for the sting­ing

as their great sea­son gets very se­ri­ous with a Fox Me­mo­rial Tro­phy pre­lim­i­nary semi­fi­nal against third-placed Mt Al­bert Li­ons, at Mt Smart Sta­dium No 2, 12.45pm.

In the day’s other ma­jor semi­fi­nal, swash­buck­ling table­top­ping Pt Che­va­lier Pi­rates do bat­tle with the grap­pling Glenora Bears, 2.30pm at the same venue.

Last Satur­day’s re­sults: North­cote 20 Mt Al­bert 16, Te Atatu 6 Glenora 10, Marist 20 Man­gere East 33, Pa­pakura 12 How­ick 16,

Hor­nets, Fen­ci­bles United How­ick

Pt Che­va­lier 46 Rich­mond 24.

Man­gere East’s win cou­pled with Te Atatu’s loss moved them a point ahead on the ta­ble to se­cure their spot in the Fox Me­mo­rial Premier­ship for 2018. Af­ter a year in first di­vi­sion, Te Atatu are rel­e­gated to the Shar­man Cup.

Crown Lift Trucks Shar­man Cup Premier­ship round 14: Eller­slie 6 Bay Roskill 84, Pa­p­a­toe­toe 4 Pon­sonby 92, New Lynn 16 Otahuhu 50, Ma­nurewa 20 Otara 20. This Satur­day’s semi-fi­nals: Otahuhu v Bay Roskill, Pon­sonby v Otara.

have missed out on Shar­man Cup Plate fi­nals ac­tion, which sees Waitem­ata ad­vance through to the grand fi­nal. Manukau play East Coast Bays in semi-fi­nal two to see who will bat­tle the Seag­ulls of the west.

In Auck­land sec­ondary schools First XV rugby 1A grade,

topped the round-robin stand­ings af­ter beat­ing Kings Col­lege away last Satur­day 30-23, af­ter trail­ing 10-13 at half­time, to emerge as top qual­i­fier for this Satur­day’s semi­fi­nals at 2.30pm.

Chas­ing their fifth cham­pi­onship in seven sea­sons, St Kents face fourth-placed Auck­land Gram­mar, who they beat at the lat­ter’s home ground 28-17 only a few weeks ago. Se­cond-placed Sa­cred Heart tackle third-placed St Peters in the other top-four play­off.

1A grade fi­nal points: St Kents 44, Sa­cred Heart 42, St Peters 40, Gram­mar 39, Kings 35, MAGS 30, De La Salle 26, Kel­ston 21, Dil­worth 19, Lis­ton 9, Aorere 8, Ta­maki 0.

The 1B grade Cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nals this Satur­day at mid­day pits top qual­i­fiers and un­de­feated

Paku­ranga Jaguars Kentigern Col­lege Botany Sec­ondary Col­lege Tan­garoa Col­lege Saint Downs

at home against fourth-placed Mt Roskill Gram­mar, while se­cond-placed are at home bat­tling One Tree Hill Col­lege. 1B Cham­pi­onship fi­nal points: Botany Downs 33, Tan­garoa 31, One Tree Hill 23, Mt Roskill 18, Paku­ranga 17, Ma­cleans 12, Pa­p­a­toe­toe 5, One­hunga 1.

It’s fi­nals night in net­ball’s Coun­ties Manukau re­gional pre­mier league this Fri­day at Pul­man Arena, Pa­pakura.

The di­vi­sion one grand fi­nal is be­tween Ma­nurewa Gold and Aztec 1 at 8pm, while

are in the fi­nal for third and fourth places against South­ern

Bay Mel­lons

Souls at 6.30pm.

The di­vi­sion two fi­nal at 8pm is be­tween of How­ick Paku­ranga Net­ball Cen­tre, and Rev­e­la­tion Ti­tans, of Man­gere Otahuhu.

Wil­low­bank,

PHOTOS: FIONA GOODALL / PHOTOTEK.NZ

Ndaye Balumba of Fen­ci­bles leaps over the tackle of Yamil Casas, in a match played on a River­hills Park pitch bereft of green grass.

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