Basketball: Double delight
Tauranga teams have taken top honours at the Open zone 2 premiership basketball tournament at the QEII Youth Centre, with both qualifying for nationals.
Tauranga topped Waikato Titans 102-79 in the men's grand final, with the two finalists qualifying for the open nationals in Rotorua in October along with Counties Manukau Franklin and Rotorua.
Waikato stretched to an early 15-3 lead in the final before Tauranga City rallied to bring it back level at the end of the first quarter, 25-25. The second quarter started as the first quarter ended, very tight until Tauranga City began to hit their shots and tighten up on defence, creating a 17-0 run from mid-quarter into the second half to make it 77-60.
Waikato could not get back into the game after that and Tauranga City did not take their pedal off the gas as the final minutes wore down. The buzzer sounded with the score 102-79, not reflecting how tight the game really was. Top performer was Ashton McQueen, who scored an unbelievable 41 points as he rose to the big occasion.
In the women's competition all four teams - Tauranga, Counties Manukau Franklin, Gisborne and Rotorua - had already qualified for nationals so this tournament was just for pride.
The final was a heated encounter between hometown favourite Tauranga City and rivals Rotorua. The game was fast- paced, with Tauranga City showing how much they wanted the title by playing tough man-to-man defence accumulated and fast break offence, with Tauranga edging to a 65-62 win to show they are hitting their stride just in time for nationals.
Pool 1: Counties Manukau Franklin 89 Gisborne B 59, Waikato Titans 100 Rotorua 89, Waikato Titans 83 Counties Manukau Franklin 61, Rotorua 103 Gisborne B 60, Counties Manukau Franklin 93 Rotorua 70, Waikato Titans 123 Gisborne B 56.
Pool 2: Tauranga City 124 Tauranga City Waihi 37, Central Country 60 Waikato Fighting Irish 49, Gisborne A 89 Tauranga City Waihi 49, Tauranga City 104 Central Country 49, Gisborne A 71 Waikato Fighting Irish 56, Central Country 64 Tauranga City Waihi 46, Tauranga City 94 Gisborne A 54, Waikato Fighting Irish 57 Tauranga City Waihi 34, Gisborne A 84 Central Country 62, Tauranga City 96 Waikato Fighting Irish 53.
5th/6th: Gisborne A 76 Central Country 60.
3rd/4th: Counties Manukau Franklin 82 Rotorua 52
Grand final: Tauranga City 102 Waikato Titans 79.
Tauranga City 84 Counties Manukau Franklin 30, Gisborne 57 Rotorua 56, Rotorua 61 Counties Manukau Franklin 57, Tauranga City 70 Gisborne 43, Gisborne 51 Counties Manukau Franklin 52, Tauranga City 53 Rotorua 31.
For 3rd/4th: Gisborne 56 Counties Manukau Franklin 41
Grand final: Tauranga City 65 Rotorua 62.
Volleyball: Numbers down
Both Tauranga teams' preparation for the national championships in Nelson next week have been marred by a poor showing from their Auckland opponents in the final round of the Northern League in Auckland.
Due to play South Auckland and Sparta, coach Stewart Henderson said the turnout by the Auckland teams was disappointing, with each side having insufficient players to host properly, resulting in both Tauranga A and B teams having to play the same team.
Tauranga B team lost to South Auckland 3-1 in a game they started slowly but improved as play progressed. The Tauranga A team beat South Auckland 3-1 after losing a close first set.
A similar situation then occurred with the Sparta team and so the Tauranga coaching staff decided that the A team would play two sets against Sparta, which they won comfortably, and the B team one set, which was a close loss, before returning to Tauranga late on Saturday night.
Although the turnout by the Auckland teams was disappointing it gave the two Tauranga teams a good hit out before leaving for the national club championships in Nelson.
All the Tauranga A players enjoyed court time but Henderson singled out Abbie Meredith, who had a particularly strong game at libero, and Beniece Douch, who played strongly on her return from the under-19 beach world championship.
Tauranga B enjoyed the challenge of playing against higher ranked opponents to prepare them for their tilt at winning the division two title at nationals.
The Northern League has been poorly supported this year, particularly by some of the Auckland teams , but plans are under way to revamp the competition to return it to its former status as an important qualifying league for nationals.
Northern Zone Volleyball League:
Reserves: Hamilton b Sparta 3-2 (22-25,19-25,26-24,25-23,15-10); South Auckland b Waitakere 3-1 (19-25,25-17,25-17,25-16); Hamilton b Harbour Raiders B 3-0 (25-15,25-18,25-19).
Premiers: Waitakere b South Auckland 3-1 (24-26,25-15,25-15,25-11); Harbour Raiders B b Hamilton 3-1 (25-20,25-22,18-25,26-24); Waitakere b Harbour Raiders A 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 26-24); South Auckland b Harbour Raiders B 3-0 (25-19,25-22,25-19); Sparta b Hamilton 3-0 (25-17,25-20,25-21); Sparta b Harbour Raiders A 3-2 (25-22,25-19,20-25,21-25,17-15).
Final points: Sparta 41, South Auckland 40, Hamilton 33, Harbour Raiders B 31, Waitakere 30, Harbour Raiders A 25.
Reserves: South Auckland b Tauranga 3-1 (25-9,25-19,24-26,26-24); Manukau South b Sparta 3-0; Manukau South b Harbour Raiders 3-0; Tauranga b Sparta 3-0.
Premiers: Tauranga b South Auckland 3-1 (22-25, 25-8, 25-22,25-20); Manukau South b Sparta 3-2; Manukau South B Harbour Raiders 3-0, South Auckland b Harbour Raiders 3-0; Harbour Raiders b Hamilton 3-0.
Final points: Manukau South 57, Tauranga 47, Sparta 30, Hamilton 24, South Auckland 22, Harbour Raiders 12.
Football: Side not in hunt
Tauranga City United brought the curtain down on another failed Northern League season with a scarcely-believable 12-goal stoush with Auckland side Waiuku.
The last time the two teams met at Links Ave Waiuku fought back from behind to win 7-5.
Saturday's clash at Massey Park also produced 12 goals although Tauranga weren't in the hunt, losing 9-3 after trailing 2-1 at halftime, with Scott Doney (2) and Tom Livesey getting on the scoresheet.
The loss was Tauranga's 10th in 22 games and saw them finish 6th in the 12-team league, with Hibiscus Coast and North Shore the two teams promoted.
Second division scores:
North Shore United 4 (David Fahy 3, Jaryd Gray) Western Springs 1 (Luke Petrie). HT: 2-1.
Warkworth 2 (Rob Carty, Gareth Southcombe) Hibiscus Coast 3 (Trent Mayes, Alex Prior, Daniel Cyra). HT: 0-2.
Mangere United 3 (Mishra Joseph, Shameel Ali, Chris Abbott) Matamata Swifts 0. HT: 1-0.
Onehunga Mangere 1 (Ben Marumaru) Manukau City 2 (William McClure, Krishneel Krishna). HT: 0-0.
Waiuku 9 (Derek Sinclair 5, Cody Ralph, Darren Woolnough, Brendan Speakman, Robert Thornton) Tauranga City 3 (Scott Doney 2, Tom Livesey). HT: 2-1.
Fencibles 1 (Stephen Lawry) Papakura City 0. HT: 0-0.
Golf: Result to savour
Omokoroa's Kieran Muir has scored his maiden victory as a PGA professional when he tied for first in the $10,000 Caloundra Pro-Am on Queensland's Sunshine Coast in Australia.
Muir, a medallist at the New Zealand PGA Q-School in January, was one of three players on a four-under par score of 67. As the PGA of Australia do not instigate playoffs in their pro-am events, he can now claim to be a tournament winner, taking a cheque of A$1250 alongside Australians Grant Scott, Peter Shaw and Gavin Fairfax.
Muir now finds himself in 6th place in the Ridges Peregian Springs series after two of the seven events, an incentive to him to continue his form over the next 10 days.
Prior to turning professional Muir was the playing captain of a young Bay of Plenty provincial team and showed his leadership abilities in taking out the national title back in 2009.
Tauranga's Jared Pender was last week second in the Bargara Pro-Am om Queensland. His second round 65 saw him finish on 10-under par over the two rounds, two shots back from Victoria's Chris Gaunt. Muir was 36th at Bargara after rounds of 73 and 74, two shots behind Omanu pro James Hamilton (70 75).
Muir was also in the money at the Noosa par three pro-am, a unique tournament on the par three course in Noosa played over 27 holes. He was 20th on 9-over par 90, with Hamilton 37th.
Rugby League: Tigers on top
Hamilton City Tigers have won back-to-back WaiCoa Bays rugby league premierships, downing the Ngaruawahia Panthers 26-12 after being down 8-0. The Tigers' WaiCoa Bays trophy follows the Waikato premiership won earlier in the season, with the weekend triumph cementing their standing as the region's top club.
Meanwhile, WaiCoa Bays Stallions coach Morgan Kutia has named a 25-strong squad for the national competition which gets under way this month, with players coming from the two clubs which contested Saturday's grand final.
Six Hamilton City Tigers players are in Kutia's team, with five from the Ngaruawahia Panthers. Otumoetai Eels standoff Josh Weeden and wing Ryan Gordon are the only players from Tauranga included.
The Stallions, formed from the Upper Central Zone, which is made up of four regions, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coastline and Gisborne, finished sixth in the seven-team competition last year and fifth in 2010.
Their campaign begins with a pre-season match this weekend against the Counties-Manukau Stingrays in Ngaruawahia, before their first competition game against the Northern Swords in Whangarei on Sunday, August 26.
WaiCoa Bays Stallions squad: Marrin Haggie, Mounga Molisi, Ngarotata Bristowe, Namu Puru, John Koko, Josh Weeden, Hayden Karena, Fitu Sili, Pirikawana Taiatini, Tai Pelesasa, Simon Beale, Fa'a Leilua, Nicholas Read, Tane Rapira, Chris Fox, Rawiri Gideon, Vinnie Morunga, Jordan Tai Rakena, Ryan Gordon, Ryan Laurenson, Dana Ratu, Peter Rameka, Raynard Haggie, Moi Pekipaki, Sammy Pritchard.
The Otumoetai Eels premier's season is over after they were turfed out of the Bay of Plenty district final this weekend. They had won the right to take on Tokoroa's Pacific Sharks in the final but, like last year, were kicked out of the competition on a technicality after their reserve team defaulted three times this season.
The Eels' under-15s will be in action in the final at Rotorua's Puketawhero Park, taking on Ngongotaha. The Rotorua team won their semifinal in controversial circumstances, beating Whakatane 25-24 in extra-time. Whakatane had led 24-22 when the final hooter sounded but Ngongotaha disputed an earlier conversion that was flagged away by the touch judges, getting the miss overturned to lock the scores up at 24-all in regulation.
Indoor Bowls: Fourth victory
Tauranga's Paul Smith is still unbeaten in the men's singles after the North Island indoor bowls team continued their tour of the South Island with a huge win against North Otago and Central Otago combined 42-6 on Sunday. This was the North Island's fourth win on the eight-match tour which concludes on Saturday with the annual inter-island match. They have beaten Otago 36-12, South Otago 37-11, Southland 28-20 and now the combined team 42-6.
In the first round the men's four, including Tauranga's Mike Phipps, beat Central Otago 16-8, which included an end when they scored eight shots. However, in the second round the Central Otago four were leading 8-2 after six ends when the North scored seven shots to get out of trouble and then went on to win 12-8. They wrapped up their match with a 9-4 win in the final game.
Tauranga's Fiona Wilson helped the women's triple to a 2-1 win over Central Otago while Lorraine Phipps (Tauranga) in the women's four beat North Otago 15-2, 11-3, 4-6.
Smith downed North Otago's John Leyser 18-3, 20-4, 10-9, having earlier beaten Ross Garner (Otago), having two wins and a draw against Robert Wilson (South Otago) and three wins against Grant Fortune, Southland.
Federation Football: Shield retained
The good crowd that turned up to Crown Park on Saturday witnessed a quality game which was played with cup final intensity, and after 90 entertaining minutes Taupo had retained the Challenge Shield and stretched their lead in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation league 1 to four points with a 2-1 win over Claudelands Rovers.
Taupo took the lead after just two minutes when Chris Roberts rounded the Rovers 'keeper and slotted into the empty goal. Paul Stewart doubled their lead after a quickly taken free-kick caught the Rovers defence napping. Taupo comfortably held the lead until the break but Rovers played with purpose in the second spell and put Taupo under pressure. Bevan Woltersdorf, who was playing his 201st game for Taupo, marshalled the defence while Dave Stewart put in a man of the match performance in the midfield to hold Rovers at bay until the 93rd minute.
Melville United hung on to third place with a closer than expected 1-0 win over bottom team Otorohanga.
Old Blues and Tauranga Boys' College, both teams with the threat of relegation hanging over them, met at Waipuna Park. Old Blues Coach Andy Leggat must have thought the football gods were against him when his side failed to score from a penalty early in the first half, and with no score in the first half it was tense in both dressing rooms. Old Blues striker Franz Marko made it 1-0 with a good strike but the home team had to play out the last 20 minutes with 10 men after they had a player red carded, hanging on for three valuable points.
Whakatane Town kept their hopes of a top three finish alive with a 4-1 home win over Waikato Unicol. Ngongotaha, with a goal from Dayne Willemsen, deservedly led AFC Fury 1-0 at the break, but they lost concentration allowing Fury to score twice early in the second spell. The Villagers had the opportunity to get a draw when they were awarded a penalty, but the usually reliable Isaac Haua couldn't capitalise and Fury hung on to win 2-1.
At Fergusson Park, Otumoetai striker Matt Collins scored a first half double to have Rotorua United on the back foot. United put in a better second half performance and created several scoring opportunities, and although they held Otumoetai scoreless the game finished in a 2-0 loss for United. "We didn't play well and I am disappointed," United coach Neil Rush lamented after the game. "We are now in deep doo-doo and will have to fight hard in our last three games."
Goalkeeper Graeme Blissett, Matt Collins and Matt Fisher took the eye for the home side who are sitting in sixth place with five games to play.
Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation 1 points: Taupo 52, Claudelands 48, Melville 30, Whakatane 27, Ngongotaha 27, AFC Fury 27, Otumoetai 25, Waikato Unicol 21, Tauranga Old Blues 21, Rotorua United 18, Tauranga Boys College 17, Otorohanga 5.