East Coast Bays and Tauranga City will play in next year’s Northern League after clinching promotion with wins in Saturday’s Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship.
Bays beat third-placed Mount Albert Ponsonby 1-0 to ensure they’ll be in the top tier next season. The result also extinguished MAP’s last hopes of gaining promotion themselves.
Tauranga City secured their spot in the Northern League with a 5-0 win at Onehunga Mangere United, in which Jonty Bidois scored four goals.
The only matter outstanding at the top of the table now is whether Bays or Tauranga finish the season with the title.
Next year, they’ll replace Takapuna and Manukau United whose relegation from the Northern League was confirmed in the final round of competition.
Two late goals earned Bay Olympic a 2-1 win against Manurewa, enough to lift the side above Takapuna on goal difference.
Waiheke United relegated
Waiheke United will be relegated from the Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship after losing 2-1 at Fencibles United.
The islanders are unable to catch nearest club Metro, despite Metro also losing on Saturday.
Waiheke United will drop into the 2023 Lotto NRFL Northern Conference.
Their place in the championship will be taken by the winners of a play-off between the champions of the Northern Conference (Franklin United) and the Southern Conference (either Cambridge or Waikato Unicol).
How next season’s Championship will look
Mount Albert Ponsonby
North Shore United
Onehunga Mangere United
Franklin United or Cambridge or Waikato Unicol
How next season’s Northern League will look
The Northern League will have the following teams in 2023:
West Coast Rangers
East Coast Bays
Games played on Saturday September 2, 2023
Ngaruawahia United 3 (Rouissin Nkoy 12′, 88′, Zander Pringle 90+3′)
Ellerslie 2 (Tawanda Marowa 33′, Caylem Nelson 90′)
Hibiscus Coast 3 (Zachary Newman 52′, Mitchell Browne 71′, George Debenham 77′)
Mount Albert Ponsonby 0
East Coast Bays 1 (Liam Andersen 65′)
Onehunga Mangere United 0
Tauranga City 5 (Ashton Pellow 2′, Jonty Bidois 10′, 17′, 31′, 61′)
Northern Rovers 3 (Maxwell Ripley 10′, Thomas Shaw 45+3′, Yin Kan Leo Mak 57′)
North Shore United 3 (own goal 45+4′, Guy-Frank Penda 65′, Jason Hicks 71′)
Fencibles United 2 (Brennen Priestly 34′, Kodie Nicol 59′)
Waiheke United 1 (Bert de Raat 9′)