Waterside Karori eye Central League as Miramar keep pressure on Olympic
Waterside Karori topped off a nervous two weeks on Saturday by claiming the men's Capital Premier title.
Their 2-0 win over Victoria University confirmed their title win, as they finished two points clear of Western Suburbs' second team.
They had known for a long time they were destined for a Central League playoff against Team Taranaki as Wests could not go up due to their first team already being in the Central League, but they were determined to do it with a league title.
Scoring an impressive 56 goals this year, they now have a couple of weeks to prepare prior to their home and away playoff against the runaway Central Football Lotto Federation Cup winners.
The draw put Karori away for the first game of the decider, scheduled for early September.
In the adjacent field at Wakefield Park the Bob O'Brien Shield was once again on the line as Miramar Rangers hosted Lower Hutt City, after being transferred from David Farrington Park.
Miramar were keen to keep their title hopes alive and took the lead early after being awarded a penalty in the sixth minute.
Cole Peverley stepped up and calmly slotted it past the Lower Hutt keeper.
It took Lower Hutt 30 minutes to reply when Taylor Schrijvers headed in the equaliser, leaving the teams level at halftime.
Miramar were made to work hard for much of the second half, but took control of the game in the 70th minute scoring with goals to Peverley, Finn Moore and a header to Jack Imray, all in less than 10 minutes to win 4-1.
Miramar have a quick turnaround when they travel to Masterton for a rescheduled game against Wairarapa United on Tuesday night.
Wairarapa have some soul-searching to do after crumbling to 6-3 loss to Western Suburbs at Endeavour Park on Saturday.
Wests were on the front foot from the first whistle taking it to Wairarapa and attacking strongly, scoring five unanswered goals in the first half.
Wairarapa were able to regather in the second half making the scoreline slightly more respectable with three goals to Tam Dimairo, Paul Ifill and Martin Canalis.
In the final game of this round, Napier travelled to Palmerston North to play Marist in a catch up game.
After their loss to Stop Out last weekend, Rovers needed to come out fighting to ensure they still had a mathematical chance of winning the Central League.
But the visitors didn't have it all their own way against the near ninth placed Marist.
Palmerston North Marist showed increasing confidence after retaining their place in the Central League for next season last weekend when they beat bottom-placed Petone.
In the end it was Napier who came away winners with a 3-2 victory.
Next weekend's round will determine the Central League champion when current leaders Wellington Olympic face Stop Out at Hutt Park, while across the valley Napier will travel to Fraser Park to play Lower Hutt City.
Olympic can claim the title with a win.
Men's Central League results
Western Suburbs 6 (Ashley Maxwell, Callum McCowatt 3, Owen Parker-Price, Ihaia Delaney, OG) Wairarapa United 3 (Tam Dimairo, Paul Ifill, Martin Canalis)
Palmerston North Marist 2 (Jerram Tuck, Rhy Galyer ) Napier City Rovers 3 (Steve Hoyle, Fergus Neil, Saul Halpin)
Miramar Rangers 4 (Cole Peverley 2, Finn Moore, Jack Imray) Lower Hutt City 1 (Taylor Schrijivers)
Central League standings: Wellington Olympic 36 points, Napier City Rovers 34, Miramar Rangers 32*, Western Suburbs 31, Stop Out 31, Lower Hutt City 20, Wairarapa United 19, Wellington United 17, Palmerston North Marist 12, Petone 5. *Game in hand.