The northern premier league has wrapped up for another season with a share of joy and despair for Hamilton's three main clubs. Hamilton News has graded the five top teams on their season.

Hamilton Wanderers

After a range of coaching changes in the off season, Wanderers settled with Kale Herbert to fix their fortunes in the premier league, after two seasons of relegation scares.

They finished the season in sixth place, but three weeks ago they were involved in a top of the table clash against Birkenhead United.

Inconsistencies costed them crucial points in the long run, but this was a season where Wanderers needed to show they can still compete at the top level, which under the eyes of Kale Herbert, they did.

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Tommy Semmy proved pivotal for Wanderers with a large chunk of the goals, while Will Stephen emerged from the reserves to make a case that he deserves a starting spot within the first team.

Grade: B+

Key player: Tommy Semmy
Most Improved: Will Stephen

Melville United

Melville United coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne. Photo / Marc McMullan Photography
Melville United coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne. Photo / Marc McMullan Photography

Last season Melville was close to promotion to the Premier League. This season they ran rampant in division one to secure that goal. Coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne have developed a style of exciting football at the club, while also creating a pathway for young players in the Waikato.

Their only slip-ups came against Fencibles in a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 defeat to Waiheke United. A shining moment for the team came in their third to last game of the season, when one of their academy players, Leslie Kivolyn, scored a hat-trick against Tauranga AFC.

Liam Hayes continues to be a growing force in the midfield for the side, while Flynn O'Brien is growing in to a capable leader at the back for whenever stalwart Aaron Scott decides to hang up his boots.

Grade: A
Key player: Liam Hayes
Most Improved: Flynn O'Brien

Claudelands Rovers

 Jacob Robb battles for the ball in Claudelands game against Cambridge FC. Photo / Pete Davies
Jacob Robb battles for the ball in Claudelands game against Cambridge FC. Photo / Pete Davies

Claudelands coaches Mark Cossey and Shane Comber first season with Rovers can be considered a success. They missed out on promotion but created a squad that was able to challenge for the top of the league for a part of the season, finishing third.

It was inconsistencies, and a poor start to the season that lost them a chance of competing in division one next year, but together they created a squad that when it clicked, played some of the best football in the league.

Owen Comber was the star of the side, scoring several important goals, while showing composure that wouldn't look out of place in the premier league, while Kyle Kirsten was able to hold his own in defence.

Grade: B
Key player: Owen Comber
Most Improved: Kyle Kirsten

Hamilton Wanderers premier womens

 Hamilton Wanderers Kim Maguire reaches out to control the ball as the rain pours down. Photo / Grant Stantiall
Hamilton Wanderers Kim Maguire reaches out to control the ball as the rain pours down. Photo / Grant Stantiall

At the cost of their city rivals, Wanderers flipped the balance of power in women's football in Hamilton.

Two previous seasons of being involved in relegation battles, Wanderers were involved in an early title challenge this season, while also making the quarter final of the Kate Sheppard Cup. They were able to pick up big wins against eventual champions Glenfield Rovers along the way.

Kelli Brown led the way in goals for Wanderers, while Lilly Muspratt in her appearances for the first team side did no harm to her chances at further appearances in the first team.

Grade: B+
Key player: Kelli Brown
Most Improved: Lilly Muspratt

Claudelands Rovers premier womens

Claudelands captain Tiana Hill battles for the ball against Shae Brady. Photo / Pete Davies
Claudelands captain Tiana Hill battles for the ball against Shae Brady. Photo / Pete Davies

It has been a tough season for one of the league's oldest teams. After losing half their squad to Hamilton Wanderers, Rovers were left with an inexperienced side for the 2018 season.

They were only able to pick up one win against Papakura AFC, but also managed a draw against their rivals Hamilton Wanderers in the final weekend of the league.

Despite the poor results, the team still kept pushing to improve, which showed with their later results. Unfortunately their last place finish means they are now relegated from the premier league.

Tiana Hill was a vital player who remained behind with the current squad, and put 100 per cent into every game she played. Stella Neems and Olivia Schuler in the full back positions both rose to the occasion and grew as more complete players as the season wore on.

Grade: D
Key Player: Tiana Hill
Most Improved: Stella Neems and Olivia Schuler