Congratulations to the Old Fellas for their successful defence of the Master Over 35s Conference, and for HNK Auckland and Dalian FC for being the first two teams to secure promotion to the Premiership and Championship respectively.
It was a high stakes, high-scoring, round in the Premiership, with 25 goals scored across the 4 fixtures. Whilst the lead at the top hasn’t changed, the size of the gap has, with the Kiwi True Blues now nine points ahead of Internationale following their 6-0 win over Auckland Volcanoes. The Volcanoes defeat sees them drop two places to fourth in the ladder, overtaken by Inter, who beat Auckland Wanderers 4-1, and Zamantix Rovers Deuce, who beat Bohemian Celtic’s 6-1. AUT FC’s 6-1 win over Independiente ensures that there is now only a couple of points seperating the bottom four teams, two of which only have one game remaining. Wins for Boh’s Celtic and Auckland Wanderers this weekend would be enough to secure their safety, sending Indy and AUT down to the Championship. If my maths is correct, then a loss for Inter for also hand the Premiership title to KTB.
The point earned in HNK’s 2-2 draw with FC Eagles was enough to ensure that the Croatian Club will be hosting Premiership football next season and, having lost only once in two seasons, HNK will surely be looking to challenge the likes of KTB and Inter for the title at their first attempt. Who joins them is still anyone’s guess, although Bohemian Celtic’s 4-1 win over the University of Auckland ensures they remain a point ahead of Eagles, and two ahead of Khukuri, who continued their hot form with a 4-2 away win against United. Khukuri will be hoping the Eagles and Boh’s play out a scoreless draw next weekend, whilst they earn all three points with a big win against the UoA. HNK will probably not care who takes the second promotion spot, but a loss for Boh’s would give them the title, assuming they can secure three more points from their last three games, the first of which is against United on Sunday.
Dalian’s 5-3 win against Zamantix Force ensures they have a fourteen point lead over second placed Nixon Park, who – having had the weekend off – have a tough fixture away against the unpredictable Spermwhales this weekend. A win for the Whales would tighten the race for the second promotion spot, and effectively hand Dalian the title. Zamantix Force need a big win over Double Rum Greenhithe this weekend to ensure they remain in the hunt. Things are equally tight at the bottom, with City Fringe securing a vital 2-0 win over bottom-placed AUT FC 2 and DRG’s losing 6-1 to Western Wanderers. Kamarak’s 2-1 loss to the whales means that they’re still not 100% safe from being dragged into the relegation battle. They face Wanderers this coming weekend, whilst City Fringe travels to Zamantix Rovers Return.
There’s only a point seperating the top two teams in League Two, following Saigon’s 1-0 win over Viet Stars and Waitakere Ranger’s weekend without a game. Elsewhere, Albany Green Machine proved too good for Aotea Sport Eastern, winning 7-1 and moving up into third place, whilst Auckland Unicorns won the battle of the bottom two, beating All Red 1-0. Rangers play the Stars next weekend, whilst Siagon host All Red. AGM travel to the Unicorns in the other fixture.
Finally, as noted at the outset, the Old Fellas were crowned champions after securing the three points against Waiheke Old Fullas in their final league game of the season. Zamantix Old Boys secured second place with a 6-1 win over Viet NZ (6-1 proving the most popular scoreline of the day!). Greenhithe City and Korean Tigers played out a 3-3 draw in the battle of the mid-table teams, whilst Serious beat U-Striker 6-2 in the other fixture. Only one catch up game to be played this coming Sanday and that is U-Striker playing the Old Boys.
That’s all for this week.