Football: Feast of goals
Thirty-nine goals were scored in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty federation football league's first division on Saturday with a quarter of them coming at Tauranga's Fergusson Park in the clash between Otumoetai and Waikato Unicol.
Injury-plagued Otumoetai led Waikato Unicol 2-1 after a tightly contested first half, but it was a different story in the second when the home side found the net six times while conceding just one to run out 8-2 winners. Matt Collins, Matt Fisher and Martin Bissett netted twice for Otumoetai while Joel Hollinshead and Tim Miller also got on the score sheet.
The Challenge Shield remained at Crown Park after Taupo beat Ngongotaha 5-2, but the scoreline didn't do the Villagers justice.
They were the dominant side in the first half but it was Paul Stewart who put Taupo ahead when he scored from a free kick. Ngongotaha bounced back and Moses Davis scored to level the score.
That was the halftime score but Taupo, after some stern words from coach Paul Drake, came out with purpose and Chris Roberts put the home side ahead within the first minute. Isaac Haua made it 2-2 when he converted from the penalty spot, substitute Dillon Caldwell regained the lead for the home side when he outpaced the Ngongotaha defence before penalties to Ben Westerman and Paul Stewart gave Taupo a flattering win.
Whakatane Town, through first half goals to Wayde Maloney and Paul Taylor, led Melville United at halftime, and in the second spell Scott Marrow and a double from player coach Mike Ward underlined their dominance. The 5-0 win against the team third in the league showed that Whakatane's goal of a top three finish is still a possibility.
Old Blues coach Andy Legget was pleased with his team's attitude and effort against second placed Claudelands Rovers but was disappointed they didn't get a share of the points. It was 2-1 to Rovers at the break with Franz Marko the scorer for Old Blues, but defensive lapses cost Old Blues and Rovers, at 4-1, looked to be cruising to an easy win.
Reuben Wood scored from the penalty spot and then a goal from Phil Ranger made it 4-3 to set up a tight and tense finish.
It was the dance of the desperates when Tauranga Boys' College met Rotorua United at Southey Park. Both sides were desperate for three points to ease their relegation problems and with the scores tied 2-2 and time almost up, United were awarded a penalty. Lawrie Scott, usually reliable from the penalty spot, stepped up but this time he missed the target and the game ended in a deadlock.
Both teams have a job ahead of them to avoid the drop into division two.
In the other game, bottom of the table Otorohanga were beaten 5-1 by AFC Fury.
In division two Tauranga City celebrated their title with a 2-0 away win over Te Awamutu, while Katikati made Cambridge work all the way to earn second place with a 1-1 draw.
Federation 1 League: Otorohanga 1 AFC Fury 5; Taupo 5 Ngongotaha 2; Tauranga Old Blues 3 Claudelands Rovers 4; Whakatane Town 5 Melville United 0; Otumoetai 8 Waikato Unicol 2; Tauranga Boys' College 2 Rotorua United 2.
Points: Taupo 46, Claudelands 45, Melville 27, Whakatane 24, Ngongotaha 24, AFC Fury 24, Otumoetai 22, Waikato Unicol 18, Old Blues 18, Rotorua United 15, Tauranga Boys College 14, Otorohanga 5.
Federation 2 League: Katikati 1 Cambridge 1; Rotorua United 4 Matamata Swifts 0; West Hamilton 1 Tokoroa 0; Te Awamutu 0 Tauranga City 2, HRFC Clube Alegria bye.
Points: Tauranga City 42, Cambridge 31, HRFC Clube Alegria 30, Katikati 29, Te Awamutu 19, Tokoroa AFC 17, Rotorua United 13, West Hamilton 12, Matamata 5.
Rugby League: Taniwha eat Eels
With many of their frontliners again unavailable, Bay Sprint Couriers Otumoetai Eels premiers were on a hiding to nothing before they'd even left for Huntly and their Waicoa Bays semifinal showdown against powerhouse side Taniwharau Taniwha.
Fronting with six teenagers and bolstered by assistant coach Jock Nicholson pulling on the boots after retiring in 2010, the Eels were on a mission impossible. Taniwharau booked their spot in the final four with a resounding 50-10 victory over the Eels.
In the other matchup, the Sharks had to fight back from a halftime deficit against the Pikiao Warriors at Rotorua's Puketawhero Park to record a 38-12 win.
For 60 minutes, the Eels fought tenaciously against one of the competition favourites, at times even having the Taniwha rattled to the point where one held ball could have resulted in a change of epic proportions and with the score at 12-10 to Taniwharau at the three-quarter mark.
But with injuries again taking a toll and only 16 players making the trip over anyway the floodgates finally opened and Otumoetai leaked 38 points in the last 20 minutes to send the them packing, with Taniwharau progressing to the major semi against Hamilton City Tigers on Saturday.
Brilliant Eels half Josh Weeden was the best player of both teams on the park but even he got tired trying to cover all areas of the park. His chip, gather then cross-kick for flying winger Ryan Gordon to score in the corner had Taniwharau supporters calling it a try of NRL quality.
His kicking game and classy running through the first 60 minutes was quality of the highest degree but the ask was just too big to expect the Eels to deliver the upset of the season with so many players missing. In the end Taniwharau withstood a strong challenge and remain the only team in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coastline districts Otumoetai have never beaten in their seven years as a rugby league club.
It was also the first time since their inaugural year in 2006 the Eels haven't progressed to a premier semifinal. They have a chance to atone when they take on Pacific Sharks in the Bay of Plenty premiership grand final on August 18.
In the junior Bay of Plenty competition, the Mars Marine-sponsored Eels under 15s finished top qualifiers and will host Whakatane Mustangs in a major semifinal on Sunday at Mitchell Park (noon kickoff), with the winner progressing straight to the grand final in Rotorua on August 18.
The Eels under 17s travel to Tokoroa to take on Pacific Sharks in their sudden-death playoff match after qualifying in fourth place by trouncing Putaruru 58-18 on Sunday.
Golf: Pender down field
A week after his 9th-placed finish at the Rockhampton Open, Tauranga professional Jared Pender has finished 58th at the Tropical Golf Classic on Australia's Tropo Tour.
Pender finished on eight-over par after rounds of 78, 74, 76 and 68, 21 shots behind winner Western Australian Rick Kulacz.
On the PGA Tour, former Bay of Plenty No1 Danny Lee missed the cut at the Canadian Open. The Korean-born-Kiwi had two rounds of 70 at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club and is projected to be 156th on the Fed Ex Cup Standings.
He will need some results in the coming weeks to qualify for week one of the playoffs at the Barclays.
Club rugby: Papamoa success
Papamoa have won their first trophy in the Western Bay of Plenty competition for several years in the last game of the Seeka KI Western Bay season on Saturday.
Papamoa took out the Phelan Cup final, downing Rangiuru 10-5 a year after being pipped 21-17 by Katikati in the same competition.
Three of the four Western Bay teams progressed to Saturday's Baywide grand finals day at Tauranga Domain after semifinal success on the weekend.
An all Western Bay final will take place in division two where the prize is a place in next season's division one competition. Katikati downed Edgecumbe 11-0 and Arataki's clash with Kawerau went the distance before the visitors grabbed a solitary point 14-13 win.
Tauranga Sports will represent Western Bay in the Baywide reserve grade final after overcoming archrivals Mount Maunganui 28-9. Their opponents will be Whakarewarewa, who sneaked home against Ngongotaha 22-21.
Seeka KI Western Bay Phelan Cup final: Papamoa 10 Rangiuru 5.
PGG Wrightson Baywide semifinals:
Division two: Katikati 11 Edgecumbe 0, Arataki 14 Kawerau 13. Senior reserve: Tauranga Sports 28 Mount Maunganui 9, Whakarewarewa 22 Ngongotaha 21.
Seeka KI Western Bay trophy winners 2012:
Western Bay Championship (Combined Cup): Katikati
Western Bay First Round (Gilbey Cup): Tauranga Sports
Western Bay Top Four (Merv Scholes Trophy): Tauranga Sports
Western Bay Second Round (Phelan Cup): Papamoa
Western BOP Challenge Trophy (Hardy Rosebowl): Tauranga Sports.
Netball: Silver Ferns trials
Seven players from the victorious Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic are among the 25 invited to trial for the Silver Ferns and national accelerant squads.
The trials will be held in Auckland on August 13-16. Four days later the Silver Ferns team of 12 to play in the Constellation Cup will be announced, as will the Silver Ferns squad and the national accelerant squad.
Current Silver Ferns: Cathrine Latu, Leana de Bruin, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Laura Langman, Kayla Cullen, Anna Harrison, Casey Williams, Katrina Grant, Camilla Lees, Paula Griffin, Grace Rasmussen, Anna Thompson. National accelerant squad members: Ellen Halpenny, Julianna Naoupu, Jess Tuki, Shannon Francois, Daya Wiffen, Jessica Moulds. Invited players: Elias Shadrock, Keisha Grant, Bailey Mes, Jodi Brown, Gina Crampton, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickitt.