Premier Club Rugby
And then there were two.
Just Woodlands and Blues remain in Southland's Galbraith Shield club rugby competition after they recorded semi-finals wins at the Les George Oval today.
Blues kept out a spirited Eastern-Northern Barbarians team in the first semi-final today winning 14-9 sending the south city club to yet another Galbraith Shield final next Saturday at Rugby Park.
While the Barbarians fell over at the first weekend of the play-offs they can be proud of their debut season as the combined country team confirmed the Eastern-northern concept could work.
In the second semi-final today Woodlands were too classy for defending champions Star in a repeat of the 2011 final.
Woodlands raced out to a 21-nil lead after 30 minutes and from there it was always going to be difficult for Star.
Star halfback Tayler Adams kicked a penalty close to halftime to make it 21-3 and he added another soon after the break to make it 21-6.
When Woodlands captain Alex Ryan was sinbinned in the 56th minute for a flurry of punches right infront of touch judge Phil Johnson, Star looked to be gaining some much needed momentum.
Adams kicked his third penalty to reduce the gap to 21-9 but in the 62nd minute replacement first five-eighth Ricky Bakker dealt the ultimate blow scoring a try to push the scoreline out to 26-9.
Star continued to try to break the Woodlands line late in the game but to no prevail and to add salt to the wound Marty McKenzie latched onto an intercept try on the stroke of fulltime to push the final score out to 33-9.
The big match in the final rounds of the division one competition on Saturday was between Riversdale and Mataura.
Riversdale came out on top 13-11 in and in doing so they earned a place in the semifinal next week against Edendale, Riversdale also take possession of the Jeremy Cowan Shield for the first time since it was introduced n 2008.
Both teams played very well in the greasey conditions. Mataura led 5-3 at halftime, but Riversdale landed a goal and a converted try in the second half, while the visitors could only manage a penalty and drop goal.
The season is now over for Mataura but they did themselves and their supporters proud in this match and throughout the season.
Drummond Limehills Star blitzed Te Anau 74 nil at Limehills.
This was a complete performance from the combined side who led 43 nil at half time. Loose forward Jesse Saunders scored two tries to help his team become the inaugural holders of the Ira Saunders Memorial Cup.
An injury on full-time to prop Nick Kincaid took some of the gloss off the impressive victory.
Waikiwi played their final game of the season against Edendale at Donovan Park. Edendale led 19 nil at half time and went on to win 22-7.
Throughout the second round opposing teams have paid credit to the injury-stricken Waikiwi team for the way they have played with their reduced numbers.
Edendale led by captain Matt Medley, the Magpies have gone up another gear in recent weeks as they ready themselves for the finals.
Waikaka wanted to finish their season on a high against Waiau Star but were beaten 3 nil.
First XV rugby
The top four has been confirmed in the Highlanders First XV rugby competition after the last stage of round-robin play today.
Otago Boys' dominance of the competition continued with a 94-3 rout of Kavanagh College in Dunedin. Barnstorming midfielder Aleki Morris bagged a hat-trick of tries, to take his tally for the season to 31.
Otago Boys' will be joined in the top four by Southland Boys', Waitaki Boys' and King's High. The top four sides will play each other once, with the top two teams advancing through to the final.
Waitaki Boys' were too classy for Gore High in Oamaru, winning 57-17, while King's got past Menzies College in Wyndham 32-8. Southland Boys' finished round-robin play second on points differential, after accounting for James Hargest 58-3 in their earlier game last weekend.
Dunstan High's kept up their strong end of season form with a 37-12 triumph over South Otago. St Kevin's College earned a spot in the middle four section of the competition, with a thrilling 28-26 win over John McGlashan College in Oamaru.
Final round robin points: Otago Boys' 55, Southland Boys' 44, Waitaki Boys' 44, King's High 40, Gore High 33, South Otago 26, Dunstan 25, St Kevin's 23, John McGlashan 21, Menzies 12, Kavanagh 6, James Hargest 3.
The Donald Gray Cup title race will go down to the final weekend of the season after impressive Irish striker Joey O'Neill scored a hat-trick for Queens Park in a 7-2 win over Thistle.
Queens Park's win means they remain two points behind three-time defending champions Old Boys in the championship standings with one game remaining.
Old Boys were made to work for their 3-1 victory over Southend United at Bain Park, with Brandon de Garnham securing the result in the second half.
Scott Kiddey and Steve Black struck for Old Boys in the first half, with Irish defender David Donegan replying for Southend.
O'Neill was a standout in Queens Park's win, scoring two first half goals, then completing his hat-trick in the 83rd minute after rounding Thistle 'keeper Paul Monteith and firing into the empty net.
Park's win was built in the opening 25 minutes, where they netted three goals, and controlled much of the play.
Thistle gave themselves a flicker of hope, when left winger Chris Pearson pulled back a goal early in the second half to make it 3-1.
Park restored their advantage through a Matt Burgess penalty with 20 minutes to go after a Thistle hand-ball in the box.
The blue-and-golds then went on a scoring flurry with Cory Johnson and Stu Kent both scoring within the space of three minutes.
To their credit, Thistle never stopped trying, and were rewarded for their efforts with Todd Findlater scored their second goal of the afternoon, reacting quickest to a loose ball in the penalty area, which was nodded down by Pearson.
In the other game of the day, Waihopai overpowered the Youth Academy in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals to win 4-1.
Midfielder Carl Henderson scored a double in the win.