New Plymouth Boys' High School rediscovered winning ways with a hard fought 1-0 victory over a determined Moturoa side in a Taranaki premier grade football match at the school's Webster Field on Saturday.
In a frantic opening period both sides had long range opportunities mostly off target leading to a scrappy first half with neither team getting into their rhythm.
Just before halftime a Moturoa striker found himself in space behind the NPBHS backline only to shoot straight at goalkeeper Matt Currill.
The second half was much better from Boys' High and they started to move the ball with much more conviction. NPBHS skipper Simon Gibson led the charge creating numerous opportunities. One such chance found Kai Nakamura in space in the box. The right back, who was playing a more advanced role, kept his head to finish calmly with a side foot shot past the stranded Moturoa keeper.
Moturoa piled on the pressure for the final 20 minutes, but the NPBHS defence, which has been suspect at times this season, held firm.
Man of the match was the school's Hamish Sturmer, who managed to block a Moturoa shot that looked goal bound, allowing NPBHS to hold on and win.
Competition front runners New Plymouth Rangers continued their unbeaten run this season, beating Hawera 3-1 at New Plymouth's Merrilands Domain.
Rangers got into their stride early with a well-taken goal by Hayden Laird in the 21st minute. A well-constructed goal by Matt Sigurdsson from a Malcolm Bourgoise pass saw Rangers go 2-0 up after 27 minutes.
Hawera struck back on 45 minutes with a well-hit long drive to make it 2-1 before Matt Goodey scored with a thunderous drive straight after the restart to give Rangers a 3-1 advantage.
FC Western held their spot of second and five points behind leader NP Rangers beating Eltham 3-1 at Taumata Park in Eltham. Western started the game strongly, keeping the Eltham goalkeeper busy. Western eventually got the breakthrough in the 14th minute through a well taken Matt Sanger finish.
Western got their second five minutes later, Sanger making it a double through good work down the right hand side. He then struck the ball on the half volley and found the bottom corner.
Western's third came direct from a corner and a great header at the back post by Danny Collins.
Eltham created a good scoring opportunity just before halftime. The initial shot was saved by the Western goalie, Dean Cumberledge, but Eltham followed up for the tap in to make it 3-1.
The second half was scrappy, Eltham going close on a couple of occasions, but failing to take their chances. Western finished the stronger and created a couple of good chances in the last 10 minutes, but failed to find the net.
- Taranaki Daily News
What name would you like to see the Taranaki rugby team known as next year?Related story: Change on cards for our team - no bull