Central United have won this season’s NRF Men’s Championship after romping to a 7-2 win against Ranui Swanson at Kiwitea Street.
Rivals Papatoetoe — who needed to win and for Central to slip up — won 4-2 against Papakura City,
Meanwhile, Daniel Bushett grabbed a treble in Lynn-Avon United’s 4-0 win against Uni-Mount Bohemian.
Main photo: Central’s Linus Backman … goals helped United to title. File photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Central storm to big win to take title
Central settled nerves early when Matthew Metzger put them ahead after 12 minutes.
Central’s chances improved further when Linus Backman made it 2-0 at Kiwitea St, with a goal in the 20th minute.
By half-time, Central were leading 4-1, thanks to more goals from captain Ben Ruffell (33′) and another for Backman just before the whistle.
Mohammed Haj had pulled one goal back for Ranui-Swanson on the half-hour, but by the interval, Central were in control of the game and their own fate in terms of the title.
Central added three more goals in the second spell — another from Metzger, one from Daniel Backman and another whose goalscorer might be decided later.
Central’s coverage of the game credited the goal to Brandon James; the referee’s report gives it to Linus Backman, for whom it would complete a hat-trick.
In-form Daniel Faure scored a consolation goal for Ranui Swanson, but it was academic.
Central were coming home strongly, storming to the title.
Papatoetoe beat Papakura City 4-2
While Central finished the day with title celebrations, Papatoetoe’s season ended with a 4-2 win at Murdoch Park.
Campbell Morling put Papakura ahead in the 19th minute but Papatoetoe scored twice through Christopher Groen (30′) and Ash Gower-Rudman (34′) to take a 2-1 lead into half-time.
In the second half Papakura levelled through Argyle Morling in the 76th minute.
But Iwa Shaker hit back almost immediately, giving Papatoetoe the lead again.
Aakash Kumar completed the scoring for Papatoetoe with a goal in the 87th minute.
Skipper leads the way with hat-trick
Captain Daniel Bushett recorded the day’s third hat-trick when he led Lynn-Avon United to a 4-0 win against Uni-Mount Bohemian at Ken Maunder Park.
Jack Smith had given the home side the lead after 37 minutes and Bushett got his first a couple of minutes later, giving Lynn-Avon a 2-0 lead at the interval.
In the second spell, Bushett scored again in the 57th and 88th minutes to complete a treble.
Games played on Saturday September 17, 2022
Central United 7 (Matthew Metzger 12′, 61′, Linus Backman 20′, 45’+3′, 85′, Ben Ruffell 33′, Daniel Backman 63′)
Ranui Swanson 2 (Mohammed Haj 30′, Daniel Faure 78′)
Papatoetoe 4 (Christopher Groen 30′, Ash Gower-Rudman 34′, Iwa Shaker 79′, Aakash Kumar 87′
Papakura City 2 (Campbell Morling 19′, Argyle Morling 76′)
Lynn-Avon United 4 (Jack Smith 37′, Daniel Bushett 39′, 57′, 88′)
Uni-Mount Bohemian 0
Remaining fixtures in the NRF Men’s Championship:
Game to be played on Friday September 23, 2022
Uni-Mount Bohemian v Lynn-Avon United
Bill McKinlay Park, Mt Wellington, 7.30pm
Game to be played on Saturday September 24, 2022
South Auckland Rangers v Te Atatu
Rongomai Park, Ormiston, 3pm
Date to be confirmed
Te Atatu v South Auckland Rangers