League: Underdogs Pt Chev win Fox shield in extra time

Pirates prop Herman Retzlaff hoists the Fox shield. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Pirates prop Herman Retzlaff hoists the Fox shield. Photo / Jason Oxenham

It took 89 minutes of gritty rugby league, but Pt Chevalier won their second consecutive Appliance Shed Fox Memorial Premiership after beating Mt Albert 18-17 in double extra time.

It came down to the very last minute of added time for the result to be confirmed, with Mt Albert halfback Cody Walker, so often the hero for the Lions over past years, missing a game-winning shot at goal after the siren.

It was a hectic end to an outstanding match at Waitakere's Trusts Stadium.

After scores were tied 12-12 at the end of regulation time Mt Albert took the lead in the 82nd minute thanks to a field goal from Walker.

Three minutes later Pt Chevalier stole it back when winger Saula Solomona scored in the corner and Jonathan Carl converted from the sideline.

Mt Albert looked to have the game won when Dillon Rota gathered a loose bomb to score with a minute to go, but Walker's conversion sailed just left of the uprights to ensure the Fox would stay with the Pirates for another year.

After finishing the season as minor premiers Pt Chevalier came into the match as underdogs, and had lost to the Lions twice in the past month.

The grand final win means the Pirates now hold all of the major Auckland Rugby League trophies - the Fox, Konica Minolta Roope Rooster, Stormont Shield, Kiwi Shield and Rukutai Shield.

Both sides then had numerous chances to seal the game in the dying minutes but an inability to get field goal attempts away meant the game required extra time.

Current Premiership rules mean that two five-minute periods of extra time must be played before golden point comes into effect.

In the end Pt Chevalier came up with the clutch plays when they counted, with Carl's 86th-minute sideline conversion, following Solomona's try, proving the decisive play.

Pt Chevalier 18 (Malua, Solomona 2 tries; Carl 3 goals).
Mt Albert 17 (Faaumuumu, Houma, Rota tries; Walker 2 goals; Walker 1 field goal).

- NZ Herald

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