10 Minute Sport: Bright future; Bay sneak home

Swimming: Bright future

The largest number of entrants ever recorded in the 40-year history of Otumoetai Swimming Club has club officials feeling confident about the club and the sport's future in Tauranga.

More than 170 entrants from around the Bay of Plenty crammed the club pool for its annual club competition, a number club president David Mercersaid was outstanding.

"The number of entrants on Sunday confirms our efforts to build the club up from the grassroots of learning to swim, right through to competition level is working well.

"It is also a reflection of the standard of coaching we are able to offer, with Stefan Swanepoel developing a motivated, talented young bunch of kids."

He said more clubs from around the Bay were using the Otumoetai competition as a step into setting times for the national competition season.

Last year, the club had the fifth largest number of entrants for the national age group champs, and was well on target to achieving that again this year after the weekend's competition.

Otumoetai dominated Sunday's competition, with 10 children already qualifying for the New Zealand junior champs with six months still to run until the competition.

They include Isabella Ackroyd qualifying for eight events and Grace Blissett for six. Among the boys, Benji Rowe has qualified for seven events and Thomas Chaney six.

Swanepoel said the club's focus on building a strong foundation of training and team focus from an early stage had helped form some promising young swimmers within its ranks.

"We are managing to keep the kids engaged and focused from a very early stage, often from when they come here to learn to swim. There is also a strong level of family involvement, and that helps keep their motivation up."

Rugby: Bay sneak home

Western Bay of Plenty celebrated their entrance into rugby's Stan Meads Cup sub-union competition with a hard fought win over Hamilton on Saturday.

The Western Bay side squared off at Stan Heather Park in Hamilton against long time Peace Cup rivals in a section one season opener. The last time the two sides had met was in the 2003 Peace Cup final, where the Waikato side triumphed.

Western Bay made the early running, scoring three first-half tries to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.But Hamilton roared back into contention in the second spell and turned the game into a cliffhanger.

Stubborn Western Bay resistance resulted in the visitors hanging on to clinch a 33-28 victory.

While nine clubs are represented in the Western Bay line-up, the day belonged to the Greerton Marist players who grabbed all five tries.

Winger Richie Nanec crossed twice, with Alex Jessop, Brendan McKeown and Tane Howe also getting over the chalk. Te Puna kicker Darrel Houia slotted two first half penalties and a conversion.

Western Bay's next Stan Meads competition game is on Sunday against Piako at Te Puna's Maramatanga Park.

Stan Meads Cup scores:

Western Bay of Plenty 33 (Richie Nanec 2, Alex Jessop, Brendan McKeown, Tane Howe tries; Darrel Houia 2 pens, con) Hamilton 28. HT: 21-7.

Eastern Bay of Plenty 50 Thames Valley B 27.

Football: Derby disappoints

With Rotorua United desperate for a win to ease their relegation worries and Ngongotaha wanting three points to keep up their challenge for third, there was plenty of anticipation among supporters of both teams for a red-blooded local derby when the two met in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation League at Neil Hunt Park. But while there was plenty of end-to-end action there were no goals to excite the sizeable crowd, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

Neither coach would have been happy with the outcome. Apart from a handful of good saves from goalkeepers Shaquille Graham and Andy Gibbs there was little to get enthused about, with the spectators drifting off feeling shortchanged.

Ngongotaha were unlucky when a shot bounced down off the crossbar but was adjudged not to have crossed the line, and then Shadley Petersen should have put United ahead but with only the keeper to beat.

Ngongotaha had the ball in the net early in the second spell but it was ruled offside.

Claudelands Rovers kept up their challenge for the title with an emphatic 8-0 win over bottom- placed Otorohanga.

Taupo retained their four-point lead in an exhilarating 6-4 win over Waikato Unicol.

Taupo, with a double from Ben Thessman and a goal to Jesse Smith, had a 3-1 lead at the break. In the second spell, Unicol put up a spirited performance to score three goals but two from Dave Stewart and one from Chris Roberts maintained Taupo's two-goal buffer.

Whakatane Town went to Southey Field in search of three points from their game against Tauranga Boys' College and came away with a 4-2 win.

Melville United were untroubled in winning their away game to AFC Fury 6-1.

So after what was the penultimate round for most teams, there was little change to the standings.

Taupo are still title favourites with Claudelands a clear second.

Otorohanga are assured of relegation but the question of who will join them is yet to be decided.

Indoor bowls: Trophy retained

North Island, featuring three players from Tauranga, have won the annual inter-island indoor bowls test match 36-12 against South Island and retained the Kevin Eddy Memorial Trophy for the ninth year in a row in Ashburton at the weekend.

The first round was shared with both sides winning four games each. The North Island won the women's singles, triples and fours as well as the men's triples, while the South won the women's pairs and men's singles, pairs and fours. The score was 8-8.

Tauranga's Paul Smith and Gary Low (Southland) were level in the men's singles 12-12 after 17 of the 21-end game. Low then took control, scoring a two and a one to lead 15-12. On the final two ends, Smith scored one with Low replying with a single on the final end to wrap up the game 16-13.

The North's women's triples, which included Fiona Wilson (Tauranga), kept up the great form shown throughout the South Island tour, scoring a 27-10 win.

Tauranga's Mike Phipps was in the men's fours that lost 16-15.

In the second session, the North Island took control, by winning all disciplines except the men's fours.

The men's singles was still in limbo as Smith came back against Low to win 16-14. Smith led 14-6 after 15 ends of the 21-end game but Low fought back with 2, 1, 2, 2 and 1 to level the scores on the penultimate end 14-14. On the final end, Smith scored two shots with his last bowl to win the game 16-14. In the final session, Smith defeated Low 17-11 to win the inter-island medal for the men's singles which Low had won last year.

- Hamilton News

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