Clubs went on a goal spree for the final day of their Lotto NRFL first division season with 32 goals being scored.
Spectators got plenty of entertainment as sides expressed themselves in a round of games in which the results would have no bearing on the title, promotion or relegation, as these were already sorted.
Here’s our round-up of the final day of the first division season:
Rangers hit six as they end their title season
West Coast Rangers made sure there was no risk of complacency after clinching the title a week earlier, as they crushed Waitemata 6-2 at Fred Taylor Park.
Bottom-placed Waitemata put up decent resistance in the first half but could not hold out the champions in the second spell.
The visitors went ahead in the 11th minute through Hamish Mackay.
Ben Hutter replied for Rangers in the 22nd minute.
Benjamin Gallagher put the home side ahead in the 38th minute.
However, two minutes later, Rangers Matthew Upton — the hero of so many Rangers clean sheets this year — was judged to have put the ball into his own net.
The sides went into the break tied 2-2.
In the second half, Rangers took control.
Striker Alan Pearce scored four minutes after the restart to restore Rangers’ lead.
Main photo: Rangers striker Alan Pearce … has scored some vital goals this season and got another in the last fixture of the year.
Then Kofi Dwamena hit a quickfire double with goals in the 52nd and 54th minutes.
Suddenly, Rangers were 5-2 up and cruising. They still had time for one more, to substitute Harlan Blackwood who picked up a goal in the 78th minute.
MAP happy at home — again
Mount Albert Ponsonby became the only side in the division, apart from champions West Coast Rangers, to remain unbeaten at home when they beat Manurewa 2-1 at Anderson Park.
The win was satisfying for MAP as it meant they had beaten all the teams above them on the table.
After a scoreless first half, Rewa were reduced to 10 men for a straight red.
A minute later, MAP went ahead got on the end of a lofted cross to head over the ‘keeper and into the net.
Manurewa levelled through striker Monty Patterson who scored from the penalty spot.
With time almost up, MAP won a corner. As it came across the goal, MAP captain Lewis Black headed home the winner to celebrate his 150th game for the club.
But for a poor start to the season, MAP could have been promotion contenders; instead they settle for fifth place.
For Manurewa, promotion was secured a week ago; second spot was assured, regardless of the result in their final game.
Ponies and Mountain Men share eight-goal goalfest
Two teams with nothing to lose went at each other for more than 90 minutes at Michaels Ave Reserve, and treated spectators to a an entertaining 5-3 win to Ellerslie.
Onehunga Mangere United contributed to the excitement with a second-half fightback.
The game got off to a flyer with both sides scoring quick goals.
Alex Clark put Ellerslie ahead after six minutes; Usaamah Hakim levelled within a minute.
Captain Seb Poelman put the Ponies back in front with a goal in the 18th minute, and then Tom Durkin stretched the lead to 3-1 on the half-hour.
As half-time approached, Rowan Corbett made it 4-1.
In the second half, Alex Clark scored his second of the day to stretch Ellerslie’s lead to 5-1.
To their credit, Onehunga Mangere finished with a flourish, with substitute Osman Rastagar scoring in the 84th minute and then Josh Chemis finding another deep into stoppage time.
Rovers and Bays share the points
Northern Rovers and East Coast Bays shared a 1-1 draw at McFetridge Park.
Logan Archer gave Bays a half time lead after his goal in the 23rd minute.
In the second spell, Rovers substitute Paul Rhodes found the equaliser in the 78th minute.
The result had no bearing on either side’s final table position.
Albany United get sixth season win on last day
Albany United may have been relegated but they registered their sixth win of the season with a 3-2 last day win at home to Metro.
Playing at Rosedale Park, Albany took the lead in the 38th minute through James Chamberlain-Barlow.
That’s how the score remained at the break.
In the second half, Metro’s Josh Turner levelled in the 48th minute.
Four minutes later, the visitors took the lead through leading scorer Jaydyn Englefield.
That set up a thrilling finish as Albany clawed their way back with an equaliser from captain Andrew O’Toole in the 69th minute.
Chamberlain-Barlow then grabbed the winner in the 77th minute.
Tauranga City round out their season with big win at home
Tauranga City routed Fencibles United 6-0 to end a season of what-might-have-been.
For the entire season, Tauranga were within reach of the promotion spots but they dropped points at crucial stages of the season to finish third in the division.
But they stepped up to end their season in style, scoring three goals in each half to overpower Fencibles.
Fencibles held out for almost half an hour before Liam Molloy broke through for Tauranga.
A few minutes later, Tauranga captain Cameron Grieve doubled the home side’s lead.
And as the sides got ready to walk off at half-time, Adam Davidson pushed out the score to 3-0.
In the second half, Malloy completed his hat-trick with goals in the 68th and 71st minutes.
Brandon Fisher-Vanderveen finished the scoring with his side’s sixth goal, in stoppage time.
For United, the result was academic in terms of table position but the game gave coach Marty Rodwell change to bring five outfield players off the bench, providing useful game time.
Games played Saturday September 3, 2022
Mount Albert-Ponsonby 2 (scorers to come)
Manurewa 1 (scorer to come)
West Coast Rangers 6 (Ben Hutter 22′, Benjamin Gallagher 38′, Allan Pearce 49′, Kofi Dwamena 52′, 54′, Harlan Blackwood 78′)
Waitemata 2 (Hamish Mackay 11′, own goal)
Ellerslie 5 (Alex Clark 6′, 52′, Seb Poelman 18′, Tom Durkin 32′, Rowan Corbett 42′)
Onehunga Mangere United 3 (Usaamah Hakim 7′, Osman Rastagar 84′, Josh Chemis 90+6′)
Northern Rovers 1 (Paul Rhodes 78′)
East Coast Bays 1 (Logan Archer 23′)
Albany United 3 (James Chamberlain-Barlow 38′, 77′, Andrew O’Toole 69′)
Metro 2 (Josh Turner 48′, Jaydyn Englefield 52′)
Tauranga City 6 (Liam Molloy 27′, 68′, 71′, Cameron Grieve 30′, Adam Davidson 45’+1′, Braxton Fisher-Vanderveen 90’+1′)
Fencibles United 0
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