It came down to the last match of the season but Ōtūmoetai have done enough to finish in second place in the WaiBOP Premiership.
A second half brace from Jordi Langton was enough to give them a 2-0 victory over Comag Matamata Swifts on Saturday and finish as runners-up to Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa who clinched their maiden Premiership title the week prior.
The Swifts began well, with the aid of a stiff sea breeze, but couldn't find the first half opening they needed to put their hosts on the back foot. At the start of the second half, Ōtūmoetai was able to turn the screws and twice forced mistakes from which Langton, one of the league's leading goal scorers, could pounce.
While not quite having enough consistency over the course of the season to mount a sustained title challenge, Ōtūmoetai showed they are likely to be among the favourites next season.
2018 champions ninetyblack Taupō finished their season on a relative high as they moved up to third following their 3-1 win at West Hamilton United. A Jordan Lamb double inside the first 10 minutes settled things for the Lakesiders, who seemed to be coasting to victory until DJ Latham halved the deficit inside the final 20 minutes.
Lamb had the final say, completing his hat trick with only a couple of minutes left in what has been an eventful season for his team. A long winning run during the first half of the season saw Taupō on track to repeat their title success of 2018, but some unexpected results during the closing stages threw their challenge off the rails.
The final Premiership match of the season takes place this weekend when mid-table sides Tauranga Boys' and Matamata square off at Southey Field.
The final two matches in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship were also played on Saturday.
Tauranga City overturned a half time deficit to win 3-1 at Cambridge and in the process sew up third spot, while Ōtūmoetai's Reserves needed two goals in the final 10 minutes to see off of the challenge of bottom side Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves, 3-2.
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