Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa go into their final game of the Soccer Shop WaiBOP premiership at the top of the standings and a likelihood to claim a maiden title.
The weekend's matches featured Pāpāmoa claiming a hard-fought win over Tauranga Blue Rovers 5-2 and Ōtūmoetai beating Safer Team Te Puke United, 3-0. Their wins have meant both teams have taken the top two spots on the competition ladder.
A loss from the 2018 premiership winners ninetyblack Taupō, who went down to Tauranga Boys' College 4-1, has meant they have moved into third ranking and leaving their hopes of a title defence in tatters.
Pāpāmoa now look set to secure the title on home turf this Saturday when they take on Gisler Architects Te Awamutu Premiers, who sit in 10th of 12th place.
Pāpāmoa's weekend win was not reflective of the score over Tauranga Blue Rovers, who were leading at the break thanks to a below-par first half effort. However, a hat trick by Pāpāmoa player-coach Colm Kenny and Rovers' captain Karl Bryant being shown two yellow cards in quick succession helped Pāpāmoa get over the line.
In other premiership matches, Waikato Unicol eased past Melville United, taking a 3-0 victory. The fourth-place Waikato Unicol will now take on Taupō this weekend in what looks set to be a competitive encounter.
Ngaruawahia United went a long way towards securing Premiership football for another season after two first half goals from Noor Mire led them to a 2-0 win in a crucial relegation battle against West Hamilton United. The Hamiltonians are now five points adrift of safety and, while they have games in hand over the teams above them, time is rapidly running out.
Te Awamutu and Comag Matamata Swifts slogged out a 1-1 draw. The result dropped Te Awamutu to tenth and, while they have a five point gap back to West Hamilton, they could still have an anxious few weeks. They play their final match at Papamoa this weekend, while West Hamilton - sitting one below Te Awamutu - still have three to play.
Sunday's results in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP W-League fell perfectly for Claudelands Rovers as they backed up a mid-week 5-0 victory at Melville United with a nail-biting 3-2 home win over Tilemax Pāpāmoa. Those results alone weren't enough to secure the title but a draw 4-all between Melville United and Tauranga City meant celebrations could begin.
Whakatāne Town claimed another three points after Ōtūmoetai defaulted their fixture.
Things were a whole lot more predictable in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship as Bulk Lines Otorohanga's inexorable march to the title, and with it promotion to the Premiership, came to its natural conclusion on Saturday as the South Waikato outfit did for Waikato Unicol's Reserves 5-2. As has been the case for most of the season, Otorohanga didn't muck around, smashing in four goals without reply before half time.
Claudelands Rovers' faltering form in recent weeks made Otorohanga's job easier. Rovers were at it again on Saturday, being held to a 3-3 draw by lowly Hamilton Wanderers. They still need one win from their final two games to guarantee a top two finish.
Ōtūmoetai's Reserves and Tauranga City both won 2-1, over Cambridge and Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves, while Taupō's Reserves were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Tokoroa. Tauranga Blue Rovers Reserves and Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa Reserves shared the points after a 1-1 draw in the early game at Pemberton Park.