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Magpies fly high in finale

Josh McMenamin, centre, scored Magpies’ second goal against North Wellington. PHOTO/FILE


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North Wellington 0
Douglas Villa Magpies 2

Douglas Villa Magpies finished the Capital division three championship on a high on Saturday with a confident away win over North Wellington Thirds.

That put Magpies in a tie for the title, but Petone, who lost 0-2 to third-placed Victoria University Accies on the weekend, got the nod on goal difference.

Magpies dominated the first half at Alex Moore Park, Johnsonville, with goals to Cayden Cameron from a corner by Tremaine Rimene-Albrett, and Josh McMenamin giving them the two-goal halftime lead.

A sudden change of weather, with almost horizontal winds, sleet and rain made constructive football almost impossible in the second half.

Coach Malcolm Cox was over the moon with the finish to the season, which had Magpies complete their last six games unbeaten, including important victories over Petone and Victoria.

“The boys and the club need to acknowledge that they’ve done really well,” Cox said.

“It’s been a big year for the club, junior-wise as well. We’ve got 300-400 juniors and have 33 teams, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The promotion to Capital two continues a remarkable rise for Magpies, who only returned to the Capital Leagues last year after winning the 2019 Local League division one.

They finished second in Capital Four in 2020 and got the edge they needed to compete in the third division with an injection of some experienced players, including ex-Vanuatu international and Wairarapa United’s record goalscorer Seule Soromon.

Cox also singled out Caleb Anstis, who travelled from Palmerston North each week to play for the team.

“With the exception of Seule, the thing that is really pleasing is the fact that the players are homegrown, and the club and the boys need to take a big pat on the back for that,” said Cox, who said the step up to Capital Two would be a big ask.

“We’re starting to creep up into the level of football where clubs’ second teams are up there, and we’ve got past the third and fourth teams that some of the bigger clubs have so next year will definitely be a different story, especially with players at other clubs being able to drop down from Capital One.”

Cox is keen to stay as coach and is already aware some players from other clubs are interested in joining the team.

“We’ve left an imprint on teams that we’ve played against, so we’ve got interest in that way. And hopefully next year we’ve got some old players coming back like Josh Logan, and that would be a good strengthening for the side.”

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