The newly-promoted Kaeo-Inter premier football team have done the improbable, beating last year's premiership champions Onerahi Duder Construction 2-1 at Onerahi on Saturday.

Playing in division two last year, the northern side skipped division one to play in Northland's top club competition and the move is seemingly paying off with two wins from two games to start the 2019 season.

Kaeo-Inter beat Kerikeri Bay Builders in the first round, 1-0, and had the composure again in the second after conceding a goal late in the first half. The game was full of missed opportunities from both sides but Kaeo-Inter were able to convert two chances with the deciding goal coming in the 90th minute.

"It was fantastic, it was hard-battled game but you can expect that," Kaeo-Inter coach Stefano Virgili said.


"We know what dangers [Onerahi] pose so to get a last-minute winner was priceless because it was quite a good game to watch, both teams hit the crossbar and the keepers were sharp."

Onerahi goalie Ben Lee pulls down a shot at goal. Photo / John Stone
Onerahi goalie Ben Lee pulls down a shot at goal. Photo / John Stone

Virgili said the team had gained confidence coming off the first round win, but it had also highlighted some improvements to made across the park.

He felt his side performed well in the circumstances with a couple of key players unavailable.

"You're facing the reigning champions at home with a reshuffled defence which is quite stressful as a manager, but with the experience and youth we have, we found a balance to keep Onerahi at bay."

Onerahi coach Grant Short said his side performed admirably but didn't make the most of their chances in front of goal.

"We just didn't take our opportunities and [Kaeo-Inter] had a couple of opportunities and got them both.

"They are a good team, they will take points off a lot of teams and we all felt we played well, we just didn't finish."

Kaeo-Inter's Lee Rocque moves the ball forward. Photo / John Stone
Kaeo-Inter's Lee Rocque moves the ball forward. Photo / John Stone

In the round's other games, Tikipunga Metalcraft Roofing beat Madhatters City Motors 3-2 while FC Whangārei played out a 1-1 draw against Kerikeri.


For Northland FC's men's sides, it was an overly positive weekend with the first team's game against Greenhithe Catimba ending in a 0-0 draw while the reserves completed their third win in a row, finishing ahead 4-1.

First team coach Owen Liiv said the game deserved a goal, especially when the opposition went a man down with 18 minutes to play.

"When we had the one-man advantage, we really started turning the screws but we just couldn't get the breakthrough," Liiv said.

"Although we created chances and probably had the better of the game overall, I thought we were a bit wasteful in possession at times."

Liiv credited his team for sticking with the opposition defensively and hoped the performance would spur his players on to win those tightly-fought games.

"The goals will come, we've got a strong base to build on now and we will be hard to beat but we need to improve our understanding in the final third and get the ball going forward more."