Three Cambridge teams will go into next weekend with title hopes still alive thanks to wins this weekend.
Cambridge won their games in the WaiBOP Championship, women’s second division and men’s fourth division to at least extend their respective title challenges into the final rounds of competition.
Here’s how our teams fared:
Lotto NRFL second division
Onehunga Mangere United 6 Cambridge 0
Cambridge hopes of promotion from the second division were dashed on Mangere Mountain when the league leaders beat the Reds 6-0.
Onehunga Mangere United 4 Cambridge 2
Cambridge’s U-23s lost 4-2 to second-placed United in the early game at Mangere Mountain.
Papamoa 0 Cambridge 4
Cambridge’s hopes of taking the title remain alive for at least another week after a comprehensive win at Papamoa.
Waikato Division 1
Hamilton Wanderers Classics 4 Cambridge 2
With a shortage of available players, this was always going to be a challenging match against one of the competition’s better teams.
Wanderers took a 2-1 first-half lead with Cambridge’s goal coming from a Dylan Blair header.
The second half saw the home side maintain their advantage, scoring twice, but Blair scored his second, beating four players before slotting the ball into the corner of the goal from the edge of the box.
Blair was Player of the Day for his efforts and coach Chris Petropoulos also picked out defender Keyson McKay for a solid performance.
Waikato Division 4
Cambridge 4 Huntly Thistle 0
Cambridge’s hopes of winning the division four title will live for at least another week after a 4-0 win against Huntly Thistle.
The win assures Cambridge of second spot and a win next weekend against third-placed Tokoroa will keep the pressure on leaders West Hamilton United who would need to fluff their last two matches to surrender the title.
Regardless of the outcome next weekend, the form of the Cambridge side this season has been consistently good with only two losses in the 17-match campaign so far.
In their latest win, Kevin Grace grabbed a brace early on which visibly put a damper on Huntly who had started strongly.
Both goals were created from nice through balls where Grace was able to blitz the backline and slot the ball past the Huntly ‘keeper one-on-one.
Cambridge’s third goal came 10 minutes before half-time with a tap-in by Andrew Myers. The ball fell to him a couple metres from goal after the visitors were unable to clear their lines.
The final goal came from a great solo run by Myers who ran down the left-wing, around the defenders and managed to finish with the narrowest of angles.
Unfortunately, defender Ryan Phillimore had to come off midway through the second half after a nasty collision involving multiple Huntly players as he was scrambling to clear the ball in Cambridge’s box.
It has left him with a broken nose but (according to his coach) with not surprisingly better looks.
We hope he recovers for the final game of the season next week against Tokoroa.
Cambridge finished their season at home with a home record of eight wins and only one loss.
Over 35s League
Cambridge D1 1 West Hamilton United 0
With most of the club’s senior teams on the road this weekend, the D1s provided the main game of the day at John Kerkhof Park – a hard-fought struggle with West Hamilton.
The teams turned around scoreless and seemed headed for a draw when Jamie Coomber scored a last-minute winner.
Ngaruawahia United 3 Cambridge (Team 2) 0
Ngaruawahia United gain a 3-0 win following the default by Cambridge.
Waikato Women’s Division 2
Mangakino United 1 Cambridge 14
Cambridge ran up a big score at Mangakino knowing that goal difference could be the deciding factor when the divisional title is decided in a week’s time.
U-12s: Cambridge 1 Hamilton Wanderers 1
Cambridge Federation U-12 team hosted Hamilton Wanderers for their final home game of the season.
Both coaches agreed to a slightly different format of 3 x 25 thirds to give players more game time in anticipation of upcoming tournament football for both large squads.
Cambridge started well, moving the ball around with an early effort from Mylo Maloney hitting the inside of the post and rebounding out. Soon after, a long-range effort from Maloney lobbed the keeper and found the back of the net.
The first third finished with goalkeeper Toby Malligan making two good saves to keep Wanderers at bay.
Cambridge allowed Wanderers a little more time to move the ball in the second third and a neat move saw Wanderers level the score.
Cambridge rallied late in the second third to put pressure on Wanderers and a penalty appeal was waved away by the referee. Malligan was again called upon to save low to his left, pushing the ball away from an advancing attacker.
The final third saw both teams try to break the other down with Cambridge’s best effort coming from Joseph Campbell forcing the ‘keeper into a good save.
The game ended 1-1 and the extended format enabled both coaches to give players plenty of time on the field, give valuable instructions during the breaks and watch two like-minded teams play plenty of beautiful football.
Cambridge have their final regular-season game next weekend away to Taupo, before competing in the Weir Rosebowl and McCartney tournaments.
U-13s: Tauranga City Black v Cambridge
Details to come.
U-15s: Cambridge – no fixture