Mount suffer upset
According to the season's form, the final round of the Bay of Plenty Golf championship pennant series wasn't going to be played without an upset.
And right on cue, up stepped Otumoetai in their match with defending champions Mount Maunganui at Omanu on Sunday.
Mount headed into the round with the chance of wresting the important home advantage for either the semifinal or final if they could finish the regular season with a decent win over Otumoetai, who were promoted after winning the Senior A grade last year.
However, by the time the Mount returned to the clubhouse in near darkness with just a 6-all half to show for their day's work they had slipped to third, with Rotorua and Tauranga securing the top two spots.
The top individual result for Otumoetai was recorded by their No1 Sam Davis, who pipped national strokeplay champion Brad Kendall.
Rotorua took the No1 position after comfortably accounting for neighbours Springfield 8 to 3. They will now host the grand final on June 20, leaving Tauranga and Mount to square off this Sunday at Tauranga to see who gets the other final spot.
Springfield had a mathematical chance of qualifying for the last three, provided they could inflict a 8 beating on Rotorua, last year's losing finalists.
However, by the time lunch was had, Rotorua had secured 3 to points and Springfield needed to produce a perfect 8-0 sweep in the afternoon singles. It didn't happen.
Tauranga leapt from fourth at the beginning of the final day to second, earning the hosting advantage for this Sunday's semifinal after inflicting a 10 to 1 thumping on bottom-placed Taupo.
Tauranga had a chance at gaining the No1 ranking and go straight to the final but Rotorua headed them on points.
Rotorua could thank the effort of Taupo's 16-year-old Blake Prior, who defeated former Bay representative and Bay Golf development manager Blair Murdock in the afternoon singles to help reduce the Tauranga points haul.
Whakatane finished off their season with a win, beating Omokoroa 7 to 4 in the other championship match.
Final standings: Rotorua 1, Tauranga 2, Mount Maunganui 3, Omanu 4, Springfield 5, Whakatane 6, Omokoroa 7, Otumoetai 8, Taupo 9.
Maisey makes impact
Mount Maunganui tennis player Bradley Maisey has made a big impact on the college scene in America's mid-west this year.
He has just been named Freshman (newcomer) of the Year in the North Coast Tennis Conference, involving university tennis teams covering Indiana and surrounding states.
From Arataki, Bradley attended the local Arataki School, Mount Intermediate, and Tauranga Boys College before taking up a sports scholarship at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, last year.
He played age-group club tennis at Mt Maunganui and represented Tauranga Boys College.
Hat-trick sinks MountThe best efforts of goalkeeper Hamish McGregor weren't enough to stop Pukekohe Indians running out 3-1 winners over Mt Maunganui in their Midlands men's intercity hockey clash in Tauranga on Saturday.
Pukekohe turned on an impressive display, with winger Keiran Daji scoring twice for the visitors in the first half, during which Mount had its chances but failed to convert.
Midway through the second spell, Isaac Feeny finished a well-executed attack for Mount, who pressured the Indians in an attempt to equalise, although Lincoln Churchill's penalty corners didn't achieve their usual success. Daji completed his hat-trick with five minutes to go. The Indians' buffer would have been larger but for the efforts of McGregor, who pulled off a number of superb saves.
Tauranga Old Boys drew 3-3 away at Onewhero-Pukekohe, while Thames Valley handed Waikato University their first loss of the season, winning 3-2, with Ricky Clark scoring the late winner with a drag-flick.
Otumoetai's 6-1 win over Hamilton Old Girls took them to clear second in the women's competition behind Rotorua Aces.
Dani Maunder and Monique Eades each scored a brace, with Abbie Johnston and Katrina Carson getting the others. Samantha Savory was Otumoetai's best across the park.
Onewhero-Pukekohe's 5-1 win over Waikato University knocked the Hamilton side off the top off the points table.
Pukekohe Indians 3 (Kieran Daji 3) Mt Maunganui 1 (Isaac Feeny) HT 2-0.
Tauranga Old Boys 3 Onewhero-Pukekohe 3, HT 2-2.
Thames Valley 3 Waikato University 2, HT 2-0.
Fraser Tech 9 Te Awamutu 1, HT 5-0.
Rotorua Aces 3 Kohekohe 0, HT 1-0. Played at Pukekohe.
Suburbs Piako 4 Rotorua Indians, HT 1-0. Played at Hamilton.
Hamilton Old Boys 3 Varsity Reserves 2, HT 2-1.
Otumoetai 6 (Dani Maunder 2, Monique Eades 2, Abbie Johnston, Katrina Carson) Hamilton Old Girls 1 (Samantha Jeffrey), HT 4-0.
Onewhero-Pukekohe 5 Waikato University 1, HT 3-1.
Rotorua Aces 5 Thames Valley 0.
Fraser-Tech 3 Te Awamutu 1, HT 0-1.
Fourth in Huntly
Tauranga Ramblers runner Iain Macdonald finished fourth in the New Zealand Half Marathon championships in Huntly on Sunday.
Macdonald eased home behind Aucklanders Johnny McKee and under-20 runner Jonathan Jackson in 1:11:17, with Thames 20-year-old Aaron Pulford taking the title in 1:09:21.
Ramblers' John Caie was 16th overall and third in the 40-49 year-old division, clocking 1:16:22, while Gavin Smith won the 50-60 division in 1:22:10.
Smith finished just ahead of clubmate Michelle Basson, who was the sixth woman home in 1:22:15.
Newly-joined Ruby Muir, who lives in Whitianga, won the women's under-20 grade in 1:23:19, while Katikati's Sally Gibbs was second in the 40-49 ranks in 1:27:07.
Eels thrash Whalers
Billed as the battle of the bridge, traffic was down to one lane as Brookfield New World Otumoetai Eels premiers dismantled Tauranga Whalers' in their rugby league clash at Mitchell Park on Saturday.
The Eels' 68-10 win dispelled any doubts they are the team to beat in the Bay of Plenty-Coastline-Gisborne combined rugby league competition, retaining their lead at the top.
New Zealand touch representative Arepa Ohia's long-awaited return to the team was the spark the Eels needed as he created countless opportunities in the backline.
Centre Josh Moore and wing Mike Johnstone also benefited from Ohia's timing to score two tries each out wide in the 13-try romp.
Powerhouse forwards Brendon Anderson, Sam Graham and the newly-promoted Brett Fisher and James Poharama set the platform for the Eels' successful raids on the Whalers' tryline.
For Whalers, Darryl Thomas created opportunities behind a beaten pack.
In the reserve grade curtainraiser, the Eels' second side remained among the favourites, thrashing Whalers 80-10 to consolidate second spot on the ladder.
In other premier matches on Saturday, Rotorua's Pikiao Warriors remained in strong contention with a dogged 32-26 win over Pacific. With Ngongotaha hammering Central 44-16, the Eels, Pikiao and Ngongotaha have crept clear of the bunch.
This weekend the Eels host Tokoroa's Forestland Falcons.
Two major upsets
Waikato-Bay of Plenty federation soccer league leaders Otorohanga bounced back from last week's loss with a convincing 5-1 win over Te Awamutu, while bottom of the table Melville United had a surprise 3-2 win over second-placed Finn MacCahuls Taupo.
Melville's upset win wasn't the only one of the round, with Tauranga Boys' College upsetting an in-form Whakatane Town 3-1 at Pemberton Park.
IPC Te Puke added to their tally with a 3-1 win over Hamilton Wanderers, who remain at the bottom of the table with Otumoetai, who lost 2-1 to Claudelands Rovers.
Otumoetai coach Ross Johnson was frustrated after their loss. "We are not playing badly but we're not getting the rub of the green and are giving away silly goals.
"Rovers put away the two chances they had, while we hit the woodwork and had several near misses."
Down 2-0 at halftime, Daniel Miller scored from the penalty spot to narrow the gap, but Rovers held on to take the points.
Rotorua United moved into second place after a 4-0 win over Ngaruawahia.
Tauranga City United stay at the top of Federation 2 after a 4-2 win over Hamilton North, while Old Blues recorded just their second win when they beat Cambridge 4-1. Matamata and Rotorua United played out a 1-1 draw.
Close finish looms
Saturday's Seeka KI Western Bay of Plenty senior club rugby competition games have set up a nailbiting mid-table finish two weeks from the end of the first round.
Competition leader Katikati had tight tussle with Papamoa in the first half, leading 17-5 before powering to 45-5 win.
Mount Maunganui, who sit a point behind Katikati, over-ran Te Puke 84-0, while third-placed Judea downed Rangataua.
Katikati will be wanting a bonus point victory over Rangiuru this weekend to consolidate their lead in the Western Bay first round.
There is plenty of drama expected in the middle of the table, with three teams chasing the last top-six spot. The top six in two weeks go on to challenge for the Western Bay championship in round two.
Rangataua sit in sixth and face bottom of the table Te Puke Sports this weekend, while Eastern Districts, a point in arrears, meet Judea at Maharaianiata Park.
Te Puna need a big win over Greerton Marist and other results go their way to make the top flight.
Seeka KI Western Bay senior competition:
Greerton Marist 39 Rangiuru 20, Eastern Districts 58 Matakana Island 18, Te Puna 29 Tauranga Sports 25, Mount Maunganui 84 Te Puke Sports 0, Katikati 45 Papamoa 5, Judea def Rangataua.
Points: Katikati 39, Mount Maunganui 38, Judea 36, Tauranga Sports 31, Papamoa 30, Rangataua 22, Eastern Districts 21, Te Puna 19, Matakana Island 11, Rangiuru 11, Greerton Marist 10, Te Puke Sports 2.City slip to tenthTauranga City United have five rounds left to make an impression on the leaders in soccer's Northern League first division.
The top six in the current qualifying round win promotion to the Northern League's top flight, but Tauranga's 2-0 loss to Mt Albert-Ponsonby in Auckland on Saturday has bumped them back to 10th on goal difference, although they're only a win outside the top six. Two first half goals from Jared Colligan fired Mt Albert to a 2-0 win at Anderson Park.
City get an immediate opportunity to hit back this weekend, however, when they take on fifth-placed Matamata Swifts at Links Ave in what's sure to be a hotly-contested local derby for the only two teams from the Waikato-Bay of Plenty in the northern league's first division.
North Force and Ellerslie maintained their unbeaten records with solid home wins, the Northlanders prevailing over Mangere United 2-1 and Ellerslie over bottom-placed Pukekohe 4-1.
Matamata Swifts edged Birkenhead United 3-2 at home thanks to goals from Grant Cooper, Andy Birchenough and Mike Beard.
Northern first division:
North Shore 3 (Chris Bryson 2, Ben Cliffe) Western Springs 2 (Leo Berlim 2).
Onehunga Mangere 3 (Joel Facon 2, Sangster Crawford) Hibiscus Coast 2 (Matt Chatterton, Andy Peat). HT: 3-1.
North Force 2 (Scott Burgess, Charlton Lacour) Mangere United 1 (Surfraz Ali). HT: 1-1.
Ellerslie 4 (Nathan Palmer 2, Warrick Hart, Edward Sillars) Pukekohe 1 (Jethro Conway). HT: 3-1.
Papakura City 0 Cambridge 0.
Mt Albert Ponsonby 2 (Jared Colligan 2) Tauranga City 0. HT: 2-0.
Fencibles 1 (Grant Duncan) Waiuku 2 (Cody Ralph, Jeremy Hubbard). HT: 1-2. Matamata Swifts 3 (Grant Cooper, Andy Birchenough, Mike Beard pen) Birkenhead 2 (Jack Hobson-McVeigh, Brian Radebe). HT: 1-1.
Underdogs on top
Underdogs are still on top and unbeaten after 11 rounds in the Kaimai Darts Association Monday night competition.
Battling for the Graeme Monroe Trophy, Underdogs last night downed beat Allsorts 19-1 to stay top of the table. In an upset result, Babas beat Cruzers 12-8. In the other match, High Fives recorded their second win of the season with a 12-6 victory over Bluebirds.
Standings: Underdogs 26, Spoilers 18, Allsorts 14, Cruzers 13, Babas 12, High Fives 6, Bluebirds 0. 180s: John Kelly 1, Mark Crighton 1, Mal Marshall 1.