Final Round See’s Western Relegated And Technical Scoring In Final Seconds To Remain Unbeaten
There was plenty of drama in the final round of the New Word Men’s Premier League (MPL) with Western going down after being shaded by Selwyn, 2 – 1 in an epic relegation decider, with Cashmere Technical going through the league unbeaten when coming from behind against Nomads to secure a 2 – 2 result.
Coastal Spirit moved into second place when edging Nelson Suburbs 3 – 2 with Ferrymead Bays sitting in fourth place when defeating Christchurch United 2 – 1.
Technical finishing the season with a record 59 points, a staggering 21 points ahead Coastal, Nomads were a point behind on 37 with a further point back to Bays. Suburbs finished on 31, United 24, Selwyn moving to 8 with Western on 4.
Selwyn and Western fans turned out on mass to support their clubs in what turned out to an epic battle to avoid the drop. Rogier Kerbus was just wide for Western after 9 minutes with Selwyn’s best chance of the first half seeing Dorian Gault heading wide from a corner with the half ending with Kerbus twice being denied from opening the scoring.
Early in the second half Selwyn’s Aidan Barbour-Ryan fired a shot just over the bar. Minutes later saw a pivotal points in the game with Selwyn keeper, Pieter-taco Bierema producing a great save to deny Kerbus with a powerful shot that was turned away for a corner. From the corner Selwyn quickly cleared the ball forward to Gault who was untroubled score.
Western then pushed players forward with their captain, Wiari Rusbridge twice going close with headers, the second from a freekick. With eight minutes to play Western were awarded a penalty for hand ball with Kerbus showed calmness under pressure to powerful find the back of the net. The Western fans joy was quickly over as Selwyn scored from the restart with Gault scoring again against his former club to the delight of the Stallion fans. Western kept pressing forward but in the end the scoreboard and clock was against them.
Technical matched the 2004 Suburbs side of going through a 21 game MPL season unbeaten, but only just after Nomads looked to halt to Technical’s unbeaten run of 33 games in the MPL when they took the lead 2 – 1 in injury time, when their captain Jacob Anderson scored. Technical levelled immediately from the immediately from the restart when Danny Boys scored.
In the first half Tom Schwarz put Technical ahead on the half hour with Dan Ede replying for Nomads in the 36th minute, with the Nomads keeper, Scott Cameron having a fine game with the post also coming to Nomads aid several times during the game. The draw cost Technical one final record for the season, the first side to win all their away games in a season.
Coastal’s keeper Jimmy Hinton produced several greats saves to keep Suburbs scoreless in the opening stages of the first half. Coastal then took the lead when Jack Mitchell finished well after 16 minutes. Suburbs continued to dominate the chances with Hinton again showing his class to deny James McPhie and Jordon Yong.
Just before half time Coastal’s Ash Wellbourn put Coastal back in front after being set up by Jacob Richards with Wellbourn looking to be well offside before scoring. The second half mirrored the first with Hinton again denying Suburbs with Mitchell then giving Coastal a two-goal cushion on the hour. Suburbs finally were rewarded when Polak finished well with ten minutes to play with Coastal having to see off several late chances to secure the three points.
Bays continue their good form in the final third of the season when defeating United, to rack up their fourth straight win. Sam Peterson bagged his second goal in as many weeks to give Bays the lead going to the break. Early in the second half United levelled when Michael White scored. Bays regained the lead when Hemi Innes found the back of the net with twenty minutes to play. In the final full round Bays were only second behind Technical for points gained with an admin error – still under appeal, proving costly in the end with points lost costing them second place overall.
Results / Scorers
Christchurch United 1 (Michael White) Ferrymead Bays 2 (Sam Peterson, Hemi Innes) HT 1 – 1
Coastal Spirit 3 (Jack Mitchell 2, Ash Wellbourn) Nelson Suburbs 2 (Ben Polak 2) HT 2 – 1
Nomads 2 (Dan Ede, Jacob Anderson) Cashmere Technical 2 (Tom Schwarz, Danny Boys) HT 1 – 1
Western 1 (Rogier Kerbus – pen) Selwyn 2 (Dorian Gault 2) HT 0 – 0