West Coast Rangers can now celebrate as Lotto NRFL first division champions after a 2-2 draw — and a bit of a scare — with Tauranga City.
The point, and Manurewa’s 1-1 draw with Northern Rovers, made sure of the title for coach Chad Coombes and his squad who have led the competition from the first round.
Main photo: Coach Chad Coombes lifts the Thomson Shield, first given to the winners of the Auckland First Division in 1892. Image credit: WCR Facebook page.
Here’s our round-up of the latest games:
Tauranga give Rangers a bit of a fright before title is secured
Tauranga City went into their game against West Coast Rangers knowing only the unlikeliest of circumstances could see them emerge as promotion hopes — but at half-time, they must have been thinking the miracle was on.
At the break, Tauranga led Rangers 2-0 and across Auckland, second-placed Manurewa were drawing with Northern Rangers.
Surely … Nah.
Like the champions they now are, West Coast Rangers weren’t going to blow the opportunity to clinch the title in front of their own fans at Fred Taylor Park.
They had trailed after lapses allowed Braxton Fisher-Vanderveen (15′) and Campbell Higgins (21′) to put Tauranga two goals up.
But after the break, Rangers came back. First, they pulled back a goal through Joshua Armitt in the 63rd minute.
Then substitute Kofi Dwamena levelled the score at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go.
It was then a case of counting down the clock. And the celebrations could begin …
Manurewa share points with Rovers to make sure of promotion
A 1-1 draw with Northern Rovers at Jellicoe Park was all that was needed to bury any lingering fears that a concoction of late-season results could rob Manurewa of their promotion to the Northern League.
A mathematical miracle was needed to elevate Tauranga above them on the table but Rewa wanted to make sure, and they got the point they needed.
All White Monty Patterson put Rewa ahead in the 17th minute but Rovers levelled just before the half-time whistle through Jay Bracken.
That’s how it stayed throughout the second half.
As it turned out, the draw between Rangers and Tauranga assured Rewa of promotion, even without the point.
But few will remember today’s score when Rewa are warming up for their first Northern League game next season …
MAP get draw number 7 as they share points with Fencibles
Mount Albert Ponsonby’s predilection for draws continued with a scoreless affair with Fencibles United at Anderson Park.
It was MAP’s seventh draw of the season — a third of their results — and the club will no doubt rue the 14 dropped points which might otherwise have taken the side into the division’s leading pack.
This was a result that affected neither side in this year’s scheme of things.
Bays roll Ponies with second-half goals
After an even first half, East Coast Bays took control to beat Ellerslie 3-1 at Michaels Ave.
Bays had taken the lead in the fourth minute when leading scorer Keegan Kelly struck for the 15th time this season.
Ellerslie levelled in the 33rd minute when Thomas Durkin scored from the penalty spot.
The sides turned around at 1-1.
Bays captain Liam Anderson put his side ahead in the 68th minute.
Substitute Daniel Morgan made sure of the win, scoring Bays’ third with eight minutes to go.
Merciless Metro put Waitemata to the sword
Metro put lowly Waitemata to the sword, thrashing them 6-0 at McLeod Park.
The result leaves Waitemata in a position where Albany United can now climb above them on the table with a win on Sunday against Onehunga Mangere United.
A win by any score would help Albany leapfrog Waitemata whose goal difference took a six-goal pounding against Metro.
Metro arrived with a fairly poor goalscoring record this season, barely managing an average of more than one goal a game.
But they were merciless, with six different players getting on the scoresheet.
Captain Joe Minto started the rout with a goal after 16 minutes.
Josh Turner scored in the 35th minute to give Metro their 2-0 half-time lead.
In the second half, Tristan Prattley made it 3-0 in the 65th minute.
Top scorer Jaydyn Englefield found the net (his 15th goal of the season) a minute later, before Alexander Smith stretched the lead to five after 72 minutes.
Honggyu Han made it 6-0 in the 77th minute.
The only blemish for Metro was a straight red card two minutes into added time for goalkeeper Jack Marshall, for handling outside the box.
Games played Saturday August 27, 2022
Metro 6 (Joe Minto 16′, Josh Turner 35′, Tristan Prattley 65′, Jaydyn Englefield 66′, Alexander Smith 72′, Honggyu Han 77′)
West Coast Rangers 2 (Joshua Armitt 63′, Kofi Dwamena 80′)
Tauranga City 2 (Braxton Fisher-Vanderveen 15′, Campbell Higgins 21′)
Ellerslie 1 (Tom Durkin 33′)
East Coast Bays 3 (Keegan Kelly 4′, Liam Anderson 68′, Daniel Morgan 82′)
Manurewa 1 (Monty Patterson 17′)
Northern Rovers 1 (Jay Bracken 45+1′)
Mount Albert Ponsonby 0
Fencibles United 0
Game to be played Sunday August 28, 2022
Onehunga Mangere United
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