Action from the Douglas Villa junior tournament played in Masterton over the weekend. PHOTO/GRACIE RIDDELL

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

The numbers were down, but that didn’t detract from a successful WBS Douglas Villa junior tournament over the weekend at the Park Sports Ground.

Forty teams from the lower North Island entered the two-day tournament – down from the usual 90 to 100 teams because of the covid-19 restrictions.

Despite the fewer numbers, organiser Dave Pawson said the tournament was a great success.

“I can’t believe the support and supporters probably outnumbered players four-to-one,” he said.

“The sidelines were jampacked, the football was exciting, and there were four penalty shootouts in the semifinals, and two in the finals.”

“The weather was great too, and I reckon there will be some sunburnt people, especially after Sunday.”

On the field, Upper Hutt City teams dominated the first day’s play on Saturday, winning all three grades.

Upper Hutt defeated Greytown 2-0 to win the ninth grade, Upper Hutt Orange scored the only goal in the 11th grade final against Upper Hutt Bears, and Upper Hutt beat Stop Out 1-0 to claim the 13th-grade title.

The titles were shared by three clubs on Sunday, with two of the finals going to penalty shootouts.

In the 10th grade, the Waterside-Karori Tornados defeated the Tawa Lightning 5-4 on penalties, after the game had finished 3-3.

Lower Hutt City needed penalties to beat Douglas Villa Minibeens 3-2 after there was no score in regulation time.

Whanganui Athletic broke the dominance of Wellington clubs, winning the combined 14th-15th grade 3-1 over Stop Out.

The annual tournament is the Douglas Villa club’s major fundraiser, and Pawson is confident that the tournament will be back to its normal heights next year.



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