Pulford on top
Hamilton's Aaron Pulford defended his Tauranga Open crosscountry crown on Saturday, making no race of the senior men's grade by putting daylight between him and Tauranga Ramblers hopefuls at Waipuna Park.
Pulford, 19, tussled with Tauranga's Iain and Kyle McDonald before pulling away over the four-lap 8km course to win by 1min 16s in 26min 45s, 20sec quicker than his winning time last year. Pulford is about to embark on five weeks of racing in Europe.
Iain McDonald held off his twin brother for second, clocking 28min 1s to Kyle's 28min 4s, with just six seconds back to Ramblers' Angus Bell in fourth.
Katikati runner Sally Gibbs was too strong in the women's race over 4000m, taking it in 15min 40s, with Cambridge's Kate Dawson (16min 04s) second and Aquinas schoolgirl Anneka Grogan third.
10 years boys: Cooper Newton (Selwyn Ridge) 3m24s, Luke Griffin (Mount Intermediate) 3m28s, Corban Crowther (Tga Primary) 3m40s. Girls: Mia Pugh (Selwyn Ridge) 3m39s, Olivia Rose (Tga Intermediate) 3m47s, Abbey Mitchell (Maungatapu) 4m1s.
12 years boys: Justin Mitchell (Tga Intermediate) 7m37s, Victor McFarlane (Greenpark) 8m15s, Sam Averill (Bethlehem College) 8m22s. Girls: Olivia Hines (Tga Intermediate) 8m19s, Rebecca McCafferty (Kaimai School) 8m25s, Kennedy Crowther (Tga Intermediate) 8m26s.
14 years girls: Lili Crombie (Aquinas) 11m44s, Jessica Bitcheno (Tga Girls College), Emily McCarthy (Tga Girls College) 12m11s. Boys: Taine Sweeney (Te Aroha) 11m28s, Cullen Tappin (Matamata College) 12m14s, James Green (Tga Intermediate) 12m22s.
Women 16, 19, senior, masters (4000m): Sally Gibbs (Tga Ramblers, W45) 15m40s, Kate Dawson (Cambridge, W35) 16m04s, Anneka Grogan (Aquinas, W16) 16m9s, Demalza Murrihy-Topp (Taumarunui, SW) 16m17s, Kerry White (Te Aroha, W19) 16m41s, Maddieson White (Te Aroha, W16) 16m56s, Stella Marshall (Tga Girls College, W16) 17m9s, Laurie Pugh (Tga Ramblers, W35) 17m26s, Amy Robinson (Tga Girls College, W16) 18m3s, Casey Blackwell (Tga Girls College, W16) 18m19s.
16-19 years men: Mac Harcourt (Cambridge, M16) 25m3s.
Men senior/masters (8000m): Aaron Pulford (Hamilton Hawks, SM) 26m45s, Iain McDonald (Tga Ramblers, SM) 28m1s, Kyle McDonald (Tga Ramblers, SM) 28m4s, Angus Bell (Tga Ramblers, SM) 28m10s, Tim Stewart (Hamilton Hawks, SM) 28m43s, Corey Whiting (Hamilton Hawks, SM) 28m58s, Craig Kirkwood (Tga Ramblers, M35) 29m6s, Ben Ruthe (Tga Ramblers) 29m11s, Richard Harris (Hamilton Hawks, SM) 29m25s, Kent Hodgson (Hamilton Hawks, M40) 30m0s.
John Crane (Hamilton Hawks, M45) 30m4s, Russell Lake (Tga Ramblers, M40) 31m28s, Trevor Ogilvie (Lake City, M60) 32m24s, Gavin Smith (Tga Ramblers, M55) 33m20s, Kevin Knowles (Hamilton Hawks, M50) 33m41s.
Sport Bay of Plenty will recognise the region's sports volunteers with two "thank-you" breakfasts as part of Volunteer Awareness Week from June 19-25.
Sporting organisations rely on over 41,000 volunteers who sacrifice weekends and evenings to wash uniforms, transport teams, fill water bottles, clean clubrooms, coach, officiate or sit on committees.
Across Bay of Plenty region, 23 per cent of all adults volunteer for a sport or recreation activity, equating to 47,786 sport and recreation volunteers. The level of volunteering for all adults in the Bay of Plenty region is slightly below the level for New Zealand adults (25.3 per cent).
The Tauranga volunteers breakfast is being held on Friday, June 24 at The Club, Mount Maunganui, from 7.30am-9am, with the Rotorua breakfast on Wednesday, June 22 at the Millennium hotel.
ISC Lenco, who have been the apparel suppliers to the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union for six years, will chalk up a decade after signing on for another four years.
ISC's involvement this season in the condensed ITM Cup competition extends to the design and manufacture of a special commemorative jersey for Bay of Plenty's centenary year.
The unique playing jersey features the names of every one of the 1159 players to have represented Bay of Plenty in first-class games. The names include every player, from the substitute to took the field for a minute through to Bay legend and former All Black Greg Rowlands, who clocked up a record 161 games for the province.
A week out from their Chatham Cup clash with Northern League premier side Hamilton Wanderers, Tauranga's Old Blues have retained the lead in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation league with a convincing 5-1 win over Tauranga Boys' College.
Otumoetai, who overcame a Otorohanga 3-1, are now just two points adrift in second. Claudelands Rovers and Rotorua United stay in third and fourth place respectively but lost ground to the leading pair after a 0-0 draw.
With a hat-trick from Jack McNab and goals to Dan Benson and Andy Cooper, Old Blues beat a plucky Tauranga Boys' 5-1 and are now unbeaten after eight league and two Chatham Cup games.
After what he described as an ugly win last week, coach Andy Legget was pleased with what was a far better performance. Tauranga Boys' coach James Pamment felt the scoreline flattered Old Blues.
"The boys competed well. After losing the nucleus of last year's side this is a young group who are learning with every game and they can hold their heads high even though the scoreline suggests they were well beaten," Pamment said. Tauranga trailed 2-0 at the break but Daniel Looker scored to make it 2-1 before Old Blues took control.
Otumoetai had to weather a strong start from Otorohanga but Matt Collins gave them the lead in the 15th minute, although it was shortlived as Otorohanga deservedly got back on level terms. Dan Miller scored to give Otumoetai a 2-1 lead at the break.
In the second spell Trent Hickman, who along with Alister Higgins was nominated by coach Ross Johnson as the best of the Otumoetai players, scored to make it 3-1.
Taupo coach Jim Nottage was elated after their 2-0 win over AFC Fury at Crown Park. "We totally dominated the game, played some great football and could have won by more."
Whakatane Town won a tight encounter against Melville United 2-1 to claw their way up the table, while Te Puke and Ngaruawahia drew 2-2 in the battle of the cellar dwellers.
Ngongotaha went to the top of division two with a 7-1 thumping of West Hamilton. Waikato Unicol, who beat Tauranga City 5-3, have a share of the lead. Te Awamutu upset Katikati 3-1 while Rotorua United beat bottom of the table Cambridge 3-2.
Top spot held
CMS Mt Maunganui have held on to top spot in the Intercity premier men's hockey competition but were far from convincing in Saturday's 2-1 win over Onewhero in Pukekohe.
Mount turned with the scores level at the interval after Matt Taylor's strike but struggled to dominate in a scrappy game. Mount was awarded a penalty stroke which captain Brad Bellamy converted.
Rotorua Aces were too strong for Otumoetai men, winning 5-2. Bayleys Otumoetai scored first in Rotorua and proved competitive during the first spell before Aces opened up, scoring three in the second half.
In the premier women's competition Onewhero downed newcomers Mt Maunganui 2-1, with Sam Savory scoring in the second half for Mount.
Premier men: Mt Maunganui 2 (Matt Taylor, Brad Bellamy) Onewhero 1 (Cody Richardson), HT 1-1.
Rotorua Aces 5 (Jury Herewini 2, Leo Wells, Michael Atkin, Stephen Te Moni) Otumoetai 2 (Scott Richardson, Scott Hayter), HT 2-1.
Waikato University 3 (Cam Hayde, Abir Mukherjee, Glenn Eyers) Suburbs-Piako 0, HT 3-0.
Fraser Tech 6 Pukekohe Indians 3, HT 4-1.
Thames Valley 7 Rotorua Indians 1, HT 3-0.
Hamilton OB 6 Kohekohe 2.
Catch-up game (Friday): Rotorua Aces 2 Fraser Tech 2
Premier women: Onewhero 2 Mt Maunganui 1 (Sam Savory), HT 1-0.
Waikato University 8 (Cat Finlayson 3, Brooke Neale 3, Natasha Jaques, Nicola Timms) Hamilton Old Girls 0, HT 3-0
Rotorua Aces 1 Fraser Tech 0, HT 0-0.
Taupo 1 Te Awamutu 0, HT 1-0.
He is the hard man of Ngongotaha rugby league but Joe Nuku alone couldn't stop a determined Tauranga Whalers' charge on Saturday, with Whalers winning 22-16 for their first-ever victory over the Chiefs.
Ngongotaha dominated possession and the scoreboard, leading 10-0 at the break thanks to a couple of brilliant solo efforts from Nuku and second-rower Tai Palesasa.
Tauranga's player coach Paul Pou said the team weren't panicked by being down at the break. "Our captain [Brendon Anderson] geed up the boys at the break. All season we've had a stronger second half and we knew we were playing with the wind to our back."
The Whalers were first to score after the break, thanks to strong running by their forwards, led by Anderson. They sucked in Ngongotaha's outside men, leaving the flanks exposed for Tauranga's winger Gary Ngarongo to dot down. Shortly after centre Danny Tonga scored the first of his three tries.
With Tauranga stand-off Charles Nepia converting three from four of his kicks, the Whalers were soon leading 12-10.
It was Ngongotaha's lack of discipline in the tackle which gave field advantage to Tauranga to again expose Ngongotaha out wide.
Whalers were without Michael Tuu'ngafasi and Kahu Temaro due to church and work commitments.
"With our new goal to reach the semifinals it means we have to win every game and hope that results go our way to assist us," Pou said.
In other premier matches at the weekend, Otumoetai Eels downed Central 50-10, Hamilton City Tigers beat Taniwharau 12-8, Turangawaewae narrowly beat Pacific 30-26, Ngaruawahia were too strong for Hukanui 38-10 and Taupo beat Hornets 32-26.
Mount Maunganui upped the ante in the Seeka KI Western Bay of Plenty championship title race on Saturday, sweeping aside the challenge from Judea at Maharaia Winiata Park.
With just two further rounds before the two top qualifiers battle out the Western Bay championship for the Combined Cup, Mount made an emphatic statement, winning 76-12 to move ahead of Matakana Island by two points.
The curtainraiser at Moore Park between Katikati and Matakana Island was a thriller that went down to the 82nd minute of the game.
Matakana held a narrow 9-7 lead at halftime but trailed the home side with the clock ticking down. In the last play of the game Matakana crashed over for a try and a dramatic 22-21 victory.
Eastern Districts gave their loyal fans something to celebrate with a 22-12 win at Jamieson Oval against Rangiuru. Arataki stayed in touch with the leaders with a narrow 14-8 win against Papamoa, with Tauranga Sports making a move up the table with a 26-3 win over Te Puke Sports.
Seeka KI Western Bay results:
Mount Maunganui 76 Judea 12, Matakana Island 22 Katikati 21, Eastern Districts 22 Rangiuru 12, Tauranga Sports 26 Te Puke Sports 3, Arataki 14 Papamoa 8. Points: Mount Maunganui 45, Matakana Island 43, Arataki 38, Katikati 31, Tauranga Sports 31, Papamoa 26, Judea 21, Te Puke Sports 20, Eastern Districts 17, Greerton Marist 16, Rangiuru 9.
Kiwis sweep up
New Zealand completed a clean sweep over Samoa and Tonga to win the beach volleyball Continental Cup AVC sub-zonal zone in Apia, Samoa - progressing to the next round of the London 2012 Olympic Games qualification tournament.
Samoa started the day well by defeating Tonga in both women's matches to win the series 4-0. The Samoa men were under a little bit of pressure after Tonga 1 beat Samoa 2.
The New Zealand teams - Kirk Pitman/Jason Lochhead and Sam and Ben O'Dea in the men's and Hannah Croad/Micah Lindsay-Brown and Debbie Hill/Melissa Ruru in the women - completed their domination of the tournament by seeing off Samoa convincingly.
The women's teams were too consistent for Samoa. Samoa 1 showed great hustle in the back court but they could not keep pace with the Kiwis, who won the series 4-0 and the tournament without dropping a set.
The Kiwi men's team, led by world tour players Pitman and Lochhead, were never threatened, winning 4-0.
New Zealand and Samoa move through to the next Oceania round of the Olympic qualification, the Asian Continental Cup zonal event next February.