GAMES PAIR IMPRESS
Tauranga's Delhi-bound Commonwealth Games swimmers Moss Burmester and Penelope Marshall have impressed at the weekend's Auckland winter championships.
Burmester had a heavy workload including the preliminaries of the 400m freestyle but was narrowly beaten in his favoured 200m butterfly by up-and-comer Brett Newall (United) in a close duel before bouncing back to win the 200m freestyle in a solid 1:50.68.
Marshall was close to her best competition time in finishing second behind Melissa Ingram in the 200m backstroke final. Ingram touched in 2:05.42, only a second off her own national short course record set two years ago, with Marshall home in 2:08.86.
Eels' reserves fall
OTUMOETAI EELS' PREMIER TEAM WILL FLY THE FLAG ALONE AFTER THE CLUB'S PREMIER RESERVE SIDE DIPPED OUT ON A SPOT ON FINALS DAY WITH A NARROW LOSS AT THEIR MITCHELL PARK HOME ON SATURDAY.
Eels reserves had the chance of emulating last season's effort in getting both sides to the grand final but lost their sudden-death semi 32-26 to Pacific, meaning Pacific now meet top qualifiers Taupo at Otumoetai's Mitchell Park this weekend.
Ngongotaha Chiefs, led by dynamo hooker Raymond Luke, downed Pikiao Warriors 30-28 in an enthralling encounter to set up a premier grand final clash with Brookfield New World-sponsored Eels.
Central (Rotorua) will meet Forestland in the Shield second division final after Forestland pipped Turangi Dambusters 26-24.
With Otumoetai hosting the three finals, a huge crowd is expected at the biggest day of rugby league seen in Tauranga for many years.
The premier shield final kicks off at 11.30am, followed by the reserve grade final at 1.15pm and the premier grand final at 3pm.
Meanwhile, following recent changes to the structure of rugby league in New Zealand, a familiar name has been reignited for Western Bay's leading talent.
The WaiCoa Bays Stallions are back, with the top talent from throughout the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne playing in the newly-formed national league competition.
The introduction of seven zones across New Zealand has meant Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coastline and Gisborne districts now form the Upper Central zone. Upper Central, playing as WaiCoa Bays, will compete in the newly formatted national competition across three grades - 15s, 17s and premiers.
The draw is yet to be finalised but the WaiCoa Bays sides will have home games in Rotorua on October 2 against Auckland, Hamilton on September 5 against Mid Central and Tauranga on September 26 against Northern.
The Stallions will be selected from the inter-district tournament between Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coastline and Gisborne being held at Puketewhero Park in Rotorua on August 14.
Otumoetai on rampage
If Otumoetai women weren't favourites for back-to-back Intercity women's hockey titles they are now after a scoring rampage of epic proportions at the weekend. Otumoetai ravaged Onewhero 13-1, leading 6-0 at halftime at Pukeohe. Amazingly the Tauranga team played most of the game with no one in goal after their 'keeper was sent off early in the second half.
Rising star Oriwa Hepi netted five times, Dani Maunder struck three while Abbey Johnston (2), Sam Savory, Tambra McGarvey and Katrina Carson also got on the scoresheet. Having opened up a gigantic lead on the points table over the other clubs, Otumoetai go into the semi-finals in a few weeks as firm favourites to retain their Midlands title.
The news was mixed for Tauranga's other teams playing in the men's competition, with Otumoetai 4-1 winners over Onewhero, Jono Simmonds 2, Hugh Gilmer and netting for the Tauranga team, Gilmer's coming from an impressive drag-flick.
Competition leaders Thames Valley thrashed Tauranga Old Boys 12-2, with former international Casey Henwood bagging seven goals.
The surprise of the men's round was 13th-ranked Rotorua Indians' 3-3 draw with Waikato University.
Last year's cup winners Pukekohe Indians were defeated by their Counties competitors Kohekohe in a close fought match and have dropped to eighth and in danger of failing to qualify for the playoffs if they don't win this week against Otumoetai.
Otumoetai 4 (Jono Simmonds 2, Hugh Gilmer, Aaron Buchanan) Onewhero 1 HT 2-1.
Thames Valley 12 Tauranga Old Boys 2, HT 6-0.
Rotorua Indians 3 Waikato University 3, HT 2-2.
Kohekohe 4 Pukekohe Indians 3, HT 2-2.
Hamilton Old Boys 3 Rotorua Aces 1.
Suburbs Piako 5 Te Awamutu 0, HT 0-1.
Fraser Tech 5 Varsity Reserves 3, HT 0-1.
Mt Maunganui, bye.
Men's points (with one round to play before the play-offs): Thames Valley 34, Fraser Tech 34, Uni 27, Aces 26, Kohekohe 26, Mt Maunganui 24, Suburbs 20, Pukekohe Indians 20, Hamilton OB 20, Otumoetai 18, Onewhero 9, Varsity Reserves 8, Rotorua Indians 7, Tauranga OB 5, Te Awamutu 1.
Otumoetai 13 (Oriwa Hepi 5, Dani Maunder 3, Abbey Johnston 2, Sam Savory, Tambra McGarvey, Katrina Carson) Onewhero 1, HT 6-0.
Fraser Tech 2 Rotorua Aces 1, HT 0-0.
Te Awamutu 2 Hamilton Old Girls 1, HT 1-0.
Thames Valley 2 Waikato University 2, HT 1-0.
Women's points (with two rounds to play before the semi-finals): Otumoetai 33, Fraser Tech 28, Aces 22, Te Awamutu 22, Uni 15, Onewhero 7, Thames Valley 6, Hamilton OG 5.
All corners covered
ALL FOUR CORNERS OF THE BAY OF PLENTY FOOTBALL REGION ARE COVERED AFTER THE QUARTERFINALS OF CNS CLINIC CUP WERE PLAYED OUT ON SATURDAY.
This week's draw for the Cup semifinals will feature reigning champions Kaitkati, Tauranga City United, Te Puke and Plains Rangers from Edgecumbe.
Katikati United got past Tauranga City United 2 2-0 in their quarterfinal, with Plains Rangers edging Papamoa FC 2-1 at Gordon Spratt Reserve, Te Puke downing Otumoetai 2 5-3 after leading 3-2 at halftime and Tauranga City United thumping Opotiki 7-0.
Meanwhile, in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation league, the top of the table clash between Rotorua United and Whakatane Town ended in a 1-1 draw.
Third placed Claudelands Rovers and Otorohanga both recorded wins to narrow the gap.
Claudelands beat Finn MacCahuls Taupo 3-0 while Otorohanga defeated cellar dwellers Hamilton Wanderers 2-0.
In other games, unpredictable Ngaruawahia thumped Te Awamutu 8-1, Tauranga Boys' College beat Melville United 2-1 and Otumoetai inched their way up the table with a 2-1 win over Te Puke.
In the Federation second division AFC Fury defeated Ngongotaha 5-2 to stay at the top, while Tauranga City United stayed in touch with a 4-0 win over Hamilton North. Old Blues had a convincing 5-0 win over Cambridge and Matamata beat Rotorua United 4-2.
Federation first division standings:
Rotorua United 37, Whakatane Town 34, Claudelands, Otorohanga 29, Tauranga Boys' 26, Taupo 19, Ngaruawahia 18, Te Puke 16, Melville, Otumoetai 14, Te Awamutu 12, Hamilton Wanderers 8. Hoopla at the hoops
Round 11 of Tauranga City Basketball's men's premier league proved to be the most action-packed yet with a night of dramatic games.
The night began with the BOPFM Jay Hawks just holding off a fast finishing Tanks 63-61, with the game going to the final seconds as The Tanks missed a chance to tie the game up.
Jay Hawks' win all but secures their place in the top four with only three rounds remaining, with C3 Ltd the only team that has a mathematical chance of knocking them out of the race.
In other games, A&J Demolition jumped to second in the competition after defeating Tauranga Boys College Old Boys in a dramatic overtime thriller 62-57. In a game that had everything, A&J came from behind in the final quarter to tie it up and send the game to five minutes of overtime period.
A&J took it to a tiring Old Boys, going ahead by six points and never looking back, with Adam Carter and Daniel Kelly standout performers for the winning side with 22 and 21 points respectively.
Competition frontrunners Fraser Titans easily defeated KPMG 106-39.
Masters serve it up
BAY OF PLENTY'S MASTERS BADMINTON TEAM HAVE KEPT THEIR NATIONAL TITLE HOPES ALIVE WITH A CONVINCING WIN OVER TARANAKI AND WAIKATO.
The Bay masters team competed against the two regions in the championship round of North Island masters badminton at Rotorua at the weekend.
Unbeaten Bay could take out the national title if the team can beat Counties-Manukau on September 4.
The home team had a clean sweep in their first up match against Taranaki 12-0 but it wasn't without a fight in two games, with Taranaki's Tanya Riddick and Sharon Devlin pushing Bay of Plenty's Wai Craven and Delwyn Cooper to three games.
This was backed up again by Riddick when she paired up with Clive Gaustad in the mixed against Craven and Nick Page, which also went to three.
In the afternoon, while winning against Waikato, Bay of Plenty dropped two matches, both in the mixed session.
In the Masters 2 grade Bay of Plenty suffered two losses, 12-0 to North Harbour and 9-3 to hosts Waitakere, while Bay's Masters 3 team celebrated two wins, 10-2 against Hutt Valley and 9-3 against Wellington to qualify for the promotion/relegation playoff on September 4.
Results: Waikato bt Hawkes Bay 10-2, Bay of Plenty bt Taranaki 12-0, Hawkes Bay bt Taranaki 9-3, Bay of Plenty bt Waikato 10-2.
Bay of Plenty players: Karen McGee, Wai Craven, Delwyn Cooper, Leeanne Fraser, Alaster Gatt, Nick Page, Tony R Hall, Tony S Hall (Mount Maunganui).
ARGOS are tops
Tauranga's ARGOS Gymnastics club have bagged a swag of titles at the Midlands Open championships in Hamilton.
ARGOS's male gymnasts dominated in their levels, with the men's junior division performances producing overall first placings for Eric Stratton (Level 4) and Joshua Ormrod (Level 5), with Henry Smith (Level 6) second overall.
The Level 4 team of Stratton, Thomas Carter and Devon Campbell won team gold.
In the senior division Brandon Westnedge (Level 8) triumphed with an overall win on the first day and an outstanding six gold medals for each apparatus on his second day of competition.
This event was open to all competing clubs but also doubled as the Midlands championship across Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Taranaki. Stratton, Ormrod and Westnedge were all named Midlands champions.
Not to be outdone, Samara Maxwell (Level 7) in the women's senior section of the competition also excelled. She was the overall first placegetter on the first day and was crowned Midlands champion.
Her teammates Chelsea Barns and Anya Duyvestyn (placed second and fifth respectively) joined her to convincingly win the Level 7 team medal. On the second day of competition the three girls brought home seven medals between them from the individual apparatus competition.
Ebony Matenga (Level 8) was second overall in individual all-around and won apparatus gold medals on beam and floor.
The event was a qualifying competition for the Bay of Plenty region for the New Zealand championships at Mystery Creek at the end of September. Based on these results, ARGOS gymnasts will be well represented.
Mount pair climb
MT MAUNGANUI PAIRING JOYCE CARR AND JUDY BERRY PUT AN EARLY LOSS BEHIND THEM TO WIN SECTION ONE OF THE THIRD OF FOUR GOLF CROQUET TOURNAMENTS AT TAURANGA CROQUET CLUB AT THE WEEKEND.
The pair had five wins from seven games, losing first-up to eventual runners-up Pat Anderton and Noeline Posselt (Papakura).
The handicap doubles tournament, played in two sections of eight pairs, drew entries from Papakura, Waikato and the three coastal Bay of Plenty clubs.
Tauranga duo Jim Peck and Dawn Bush were in the running to take a prize right up until the final game when they lost 7-2 to the Papakura pair. In section 2, experienced Katikati husband and wife pairing of Don and Barbara Tregoweth set the pace from the early rounds and dropped only one game to Joan and Barry Jenkin from Morrinsville before triumphing with six wins. Runners-up were Andrew Dixon (Mt Maunganui) and Anne Plested (Tauranga) with five wins.