Tawa re­tain hon­our in de­feat

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Los­ing the big derby is never easy but Daniel Wood still cut a sat­is­fied fig­ure on Satur­day.

The Tawa football coach was philo­soph­i­cal about his side’s 3-1 Cen­tral League loss to Western Sub­urbs at En­deav­our Park. It was a dead rub­ber for both teams, with Tawa safely above rel­e­ga­tion and Wests in third place on the ta­ble.

Wests started brightly and were 2-0 up af­ter 15 min­utes through goals to Sean Mor­ris and Michael Fraser. They dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and looked danger­ous go­ing for­ward.

The send­ing off of Tawa striker Jone Salaune­une just be­fore the break – a red card for a ‘‘tackle’’ in which he never made con­tact with an op­pos­ing player – should have sig­nalled game over, but Wood said it spurred his play­ers.

‘‘We were the bet­ter team in the sec­ond half, even a man down. When Mike [Ra­maek­ers] scored in the 78th minute, it gave us real life.

‘‘They [Wests] pan­icked and we lifted a notch, think­ing we might pinch a draw.’’

Mo­hammed Awad scored in in­jury time to seal the three points for the home side, but only af­ter Tawa’s Karl Romijn had forced an in­cred­i­ble, fin­ger- tip save from the Wests goal­keeper.

Wood said Wests were one of the best sides tech­ni­cally in the league, but that his team pushed them all the way over 90 min­utes, cre­at­ing plenty of chances of their own.

‘‘Wests fin­ished well and that was the dif­fer­ence,’’ Wood said. ‘‘But you can’t fault our guys for ef­fort and com­mit­ment.

‘‘I’m re­ally proud of the way we played.’’

Tawa’s two wins and a draw in the past month gave Wood plenty of sat­is­fac­tion.

‘‘We’re re­al­is­tic – our goal at the start of the sea­son was to stay in the league. The first half of the sea­son we had a lack of fire­power up front and it showed.

‘‘Get­ting Karl, Todd Painter, Richard Bott and Jone into the side was huge and we just grew in con­fi­dence in a league that’s get­ting stronger.

‘‘It was great to go into the Wests game and just re­lax and en­joy the derby.’’

Wood said most of the squad would be re­turn­ing in 2014 and their youth­ful out­look would hold them in good stead.

They en­joyed each other’s com­pany, trained hard and hoped to re­main a part of the Cen­tral League for good, he said.

Satur­day’s re­sult placed Wests a point be­hind Olympic but four adrift of league lead­ers Mi­ra­mar.

Wests play Lower Hutt at Bell Park on Satur­day to wrap up their sea­son.

In the last round of Kapi Mana pre­mier net­ball ac­tion, Norths 1 pipped Kahu­rangi 1 30-29, KBJ 1 over­came Plim­mer­ton Tuohy 34-15 and Aotea Red went down 36-18 to Rockz 1.

The semi-fi­nals will be played on Satur­day.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Chas­ing hard: Tawa’s Karl Romijn, left, and Wests’ Tom Biss worked their socks off in mid­field.

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