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Greytown topple league champs Upper Hutt

Greytown 4
Upper Hutt City 2

A perfect end of the season for Greyfriars Motel Greytown, with a 4–2 victory over Capital Three champions Upper Hutt City in a top-of-the-table clash at Soldiers Memorial Park on Saturday, writes Ian McDonald.

A second-half brace to skipper Jarrod MacDonald, who has now hit 20 goals per season for the last three seasons, saw the home side outplay the visitors, who struggled to come to terms with the sticky and bumpy pitch and certainly didn’t look like runaway champions despite opening the scoring in just the 10th minute.

It has been a regular occurrence for Greytown to go behind early in games, but as they’ve done throughout most of the season hit back within the half hour with a penalty to Josh Stevenson. A superb goal to defender Max Mitchell just a minute later had the visitors on the back foot before Upper Hutt equalised after the home side failed to clear a corner.

Greytown took control in the second stanza, and MacDonald’s goals in the 73rd and 83rd minutes sealed the deal. Apart from a courageous couple of one on one saves from goalkeeper Gary Hewson, they strolled to victory and celebrated their promotion to Capital Two with a traditional spray of champagne on the field.

Mitchell was superb in defence alongside player of the day Nik Finlay and Alex Penman. The midfield engine room of Andy Traill and Ryan Butler snuffed out many an Upper Hutt attack, and out wide, Landon Palmer and Charlie Matthews provided plenty of ammunition for front runners MacDonald and Stevenson.

Greytown finished the season with 14 wins, a draw and just three losses. They amassed a massive goal difference of plus-47, scoring a league-leading total of 85 goals in just 18 games.

Miramar Rangers 0
Douglas Villa 2

Tumu Douglas Villa are already assured of promotion to Capital Premier One, but coach Mark Taylor is intent on finishing the season on a high.

Saturday’s 2–0 win over Miramar Rangers at Dave Farrington Park was their fifth in a row since they were beaten 3–2 by Division Two champions Wellington Marist.

In a tight first half, where both teams created opportunities, Caleb Anstis gave Douglas Villa the lead after 45 minutes. Centreback Shea Fowler sealed the three points after 83 minutes when he stepped into midfield and hit one from about 25m, which took a slight deflection.

Taylor said it was a really good team performance against a talented young team, which included some experienced players such as Pat Fleming, who had played National League.

“It was a good win away from home. We didn’t concede, so the back four played really well, and Ben Burnley did well in goal.”

Midfielder Marcus Logan was the man of the match.

Douglas Villa complete their season with a home game against Lower Hutt City on Saturday, and Taylor is determined to put on a good show for the club’s supporters.

“Any other year, we’d probably win the league. That’s the pleasing thing about it, we’ve set a standard we want to play to, so for me, it’s never been about finishing top, but it’s one game at a time and making sure that we play properly and that attracts people to come and watch us and we also want people to come to the club knowing that we do the right things and that’s massive for us.”

WOMEN
Wairarapa United 5
Tawa 2

A Romy Ifill hat-trick was the highlight of Wairarapa United’s 5–2 win over Tawa in Capital Women’s Division One at Trust House Memorial Park on Sunday.

Vanessa Taylor also found the goal twice in what captain Holly Rausch said was a dominant performance by the team throughout the 90 minutes.

“We played a really good game, and we dominated the whole game but couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net, but eventually we started to in the second half.

The win leaves United in second place, one point behind Miramar Rangers Firsts, with two rounds to play.

United host Victoria University on Sunday at 12.30pm at Memorial Park as part of a club day, with the local league teams to play afterwards

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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