WaiBOP football titles decided

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GOOD CHALLENGE: Papamoa's Tom Crane rises to head the ball ahead of Rotorua's Menso Van de Lann. PHOTO/STUART WHITAKER
GOOD CHALLENGE: Papamoa's Tom Crane rises to head the ball ahead of Rotorua's Menso Van de Lann. PHOTO/STUART WHITAKER

Ngongotaha AFC has wrapped up a near perfect season with a 2-1 victory at 2015 champions, Cambridge, to secure a maiden Loaded WaiBOP Premiership title.

Needing just a point to win the league, Ngongotaha overcame a shoddy first half performance to score two neat second half goals, capturing a win the Villagers had been craving after missing out to Cambridge by a point last season.

Ngongotaha must now complete their Premiership schedule of three more games before focusing on the NRFL play-offs.

In other games, Matamata Swifts won 3-0 at rock bottom Tauranga City United thanks to goals from Jordane Lambert, Chris Walker and Ben Vogt and moved level with Cambridge on 41 points ahead of this Saturday's clash between the two central Waikato rivals.

Fourth placed Otumoetai First Credit Union dropped more points at Waikato Unicol after being held to a 1-1 draw. Daniel Miller's goal had Otumoetai ahead at the break but Jono Sergeant pulled the students level during the second half.

At the other end of the table, Charlie McIlwaine's hat trick gave Tauranga Boys' College a priceless 3-2 win at Old Blues. The win moved the students ahead of Katikati and out of the drop zone.

Katikati lost 4-1 at Melville United and sit level on points with Boys' College but have a worse goal difference and have played a game more. SGS Papamoa and Rotorua United drew 1-1.

Already promoted West Hamilton sealed a first WaiBOP Championship title with a 5-2 home win over Hamilton Wanderers.

All interest now is on the race for the second promotion place. Te Awamutu Edmond Judd laboured to a 2-1 win at second bottom Old Blues reserves to stay second, three points ahead of Taupo.

The Lakesiders, 5-1 winners over Matamata reserves, have two games in hand over Te Awamutu and a far superior goal difference. Promotion is likely to be decided when the two sides meet in Taupo on September 3.

Logan Allen's double gave Tokoroa a 2-0 win at Whakatane Town to keep his side in fourth, while Cambridge reserves defeated Ngongotaha reserves 3-2 in the early game at John Kerkhof Park. In the other Championship match, Waikato Unicol reserves beat Otumoetai reserves 1-0.

The WaiBOP Women's Premier League Division 1 title race will now likely hinge on the result of the Rotorua United verses Northern United match on September 18.

Rotorua leap-frogged Northern on the table after a 3-2 win over their rivals in Hamilton on Sunday. Rotorua were fast starters, scoring all their goals before the break.

In the other Division 1 match, Otumoetai Bay SportsMed's challenging season took another hit after they were forced to default their match at Melville United.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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