Top east sides line up in season playoffs
‘‘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
Souls at 6.30pm.
The division two final at 8pm is between of Howick Pakuranga Netball Centre, and Revelation Titans, of Mangere Otahuhu.
Ndaye Balumba of Fencibles leaps over the tackle of Yamil Casas, in a match played on a Riverhills Park pitch bereft of green grass.