Wests turn in gutsy ef­fort against Mi­ra­mar Rangers

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Con­ced­ing a penalty in the open­ing min­utes to Mi­ra­mar Rangers would nor­mally mean a foot­ball team was in for a hid­ing, but not Western Sub­urbs.

The young side had five play­ers aged 17 or un­der when they met sec­ond-placed Rangers at En­deav­our Park in round 7 of the Cen­tral League on Satur­day.

Both sides made light of the blus­tery winds and gloomy weather and pro­duced some sparkling play.

Wests’ goal keeper Mitchell Ste­wart-Hill gave away the early spot kick, which was con­verted, but the home side were un­daunted.

They were re­warded in the 15th minute when Aaron Jones tapped in from close range.

Mi­ra­mar landed a killer blow just be­fore half­time with a well­taken goal.

In­di­vid­ual bril­liance from Henry Fa’ar­odo gave Rangers a 3-1 lead just af­ter the turn­around. He beat two de­fend­ers and curled the ball into the top cor­ner.

Wests re­fused to lie down and gave them­selves chances to draw level in a fran­tic last quar­ter. They hit the cross­bar and Harry Edge blasted a penalty over the bar.

Wests’ coach Lloyd O’Keefe said his charges be­lieved they could win and the score flat­tered Rangers.

‘‘It was a ter­rific game and we were dis­ap­pointed not to get any­thing out of it be­cause we had so much pos­ses­sion and great chances. Our boys re­ally rat­tled a top side like Mi­ra­mar,’’ he said.

‘‘The dif­fer­ence was Fa’ar­odo. He’s an in­cred­i­ble player.’’

The re­sult makes for a tasty re­match on Queen’s Birth­day, when the two sides bat­tle in the sec­ond round of the Chatham Cup at David Far­ring­ton Park.

But Wests had to first fo­cus on bot­tom side Up­per Hutt City in the league this Satur­day, O’Keefe said.

‘‘We haven’t been do­ing that badly, de­spite what the ta­ble [sev­enth] says. But it’s time to pick things up. We have the talent and the be­lief to be bet­ter than any team in the league.’’

Tawa, mean­while, re­main sec­ond bot­tom – al­beit five points ahead of Up­per Hutt – af­ter their 5-0 loss to league lead­ers Olympic.

Gale-force winds greeted the teams at Wake­field Park on Satur­day for the evening kick off.

Olympic spurned a host of early chances and would not have been happy to get to half­time at 0-0.

A cru­cial mo­ment came on the hour mark when Tawa’s Jamie Sharp was shown a red card for a dan­ger­ous tackle, then the speedy Andrew Abba came on as a sub­sti­tute for Olympic.

Abba set up a goal then grabbed two him­self, in two min­utes, as Olympic put the foot down.

In pre­mier club rugby league, Porirua Vik­ings ran riot over Up­per Hutt at Porirua Park on Fri­day night.

The 60-22 score showed what the Vik­ings are ca­pa­ble of on their best days. The win keeps them fourth.

On Satur­day, St Ge­orge Drag­ons drew 24-all with Pe­tone and re­main in sixth.

In Kapi Mana pre­mier net­ball, KBJ 1 con­tinue to set the pace, thrash­ing Pare­mata-Plim­mer­ton 77-15 on Satur­day.

They were joined at the top of the ta­ble by Norths 1, who ac­counted for Tawa Red 34-23.

Rockz 1 beat Aotea Red 37-34 and Kahu­rangi pipped KBJ 2 47-42.

Bat­tling: Western

Sub­urbs’ Mo­hammed Awad, left, does his best to win the ball in a fast­paced match against Mi­ra­mar

Rangers.

Pho­tos: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Back in the game: Western Sub­urbs’ Sean Mor­ris, left, plays his first match in Welling­ton of the 2014 sea­son. He has just re­turned from Auck­land City from their O-League cam­paign.

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