A Callum MacLeod hat-trick led Cambridge to a crucial 5-0 win at Te Atatu to eliminate any risk of relegation from the Northern League.
Here’s the weekend round-up for August 18-19:
Lotto NRFL second division
Cambridge made sure of Northern League football for next year with a 5-0 win at the home of relegation-threatened Te Atatu.
The Reds reserves surrendered their 12-match unbeaten run with a 3-2 loss in the early game at Te Atatu, meaning their title hopes will now be determined by their last match of the season.
Loaded WaiBOP Championship
The championship squad defaulted the last match of their season to title winners Ngaruawahia United who were credited with a 3-0 win. The decision to default was taken by Cambridge who only had eight available players.
Instead, the two clubs played a friendly at John Kerkhof Park with Ngaruawahia loaning Cambridge a few players to ensure a good workout. Ngaruawahia won the friendly 7-5.
Cambridge’s A team have finished their programme for the season, ending in fourth position on their table.
The division-leading D1 side lost 4-2 to second-placed Te Aroha Cobras meaning the title will be decided over the next two weekends.
The win gives Cobras a two-point lead in the competition and it’s possible that the D1’s hopes of taking the title could depend on Cambridge D2 beating Te Aroha in their final match of the season.
Te Aroha took a first half lead against Cambridge with a looping longshot that sneaked beneath the D1 crossbar.
The visitors went two up just after the interval, prompting a fightback from Cambridge who scored through Mitch Claridge and Scott Jenkins to tie up the game at 2-2.
However, Te Aroha finished strongest and scored twice more to leave John Kerkhof Park with the win.
Main photo: Cambridge’s Mitch Claridge rises to meet a header against Te Aroha Cobras.
Remaining games for the title challengers:
August 25: Melville United (home)
September 1: Tokoroa (away)
2018 Te Aroha Cobras:
August 25: Waikato Unicol (away)
September 1: Cambridge D2 (home)
The D2s had this weekend off.
Waikato Women’s A League
Cambridge’s women beat Claudelands Rovers 3-1 to clinch second place in this year’s Waikato A League.
Sunday: Youth football
Our U-13 boys’ team travelled to Papamoa for a match in the WaiBOP Federation Youth League (awaiting result).