Seventeen games were played on Sunday May 6th, with those in the new-look League 1 playing their first full round of fixtures. 109 goals scored/conceded, but no one scored/conceded double figures for the first time this season.
In the Premiership, the match of the day occured on Michael’s Ave 3 with the 2017 Championship winners, Kiwi True Blues, ending the unbeaten run of the 2017 Premiership-Prem Cup double winners and league leaders, Internationale, 5-3. KTB’s win ensures that both these teams will go into this weekend’s Chatham Cup Round 1 fixtures sitting in the top two places of our competition, level on 10 points a piece. Auckland Volcanoes game against Independiente kicked off 30 mins later on Michael’s Ave 3, with both teams clearly inspired by the end-to-end action occuring on the adjacent field. Last year’s runners up Volcanoes fought to the end to ensure they secured the 3 points with a 5-4 win that sees them move up into third place, three points behind the joint leaders. Zamantix Rovers Deuce 3-0 away win against AUT FC 1 sees them occupy fourth place, level on points with Volcanoes and Indy (5th) and Auckland Wanderers (6th), who drew 1-1 against seventh-placed Bohemian Celtics 1. Looking ahead, both Wanderers and Indy will have the opportunity to draw level with the joint league leaders this weekend, although Indy would have to win by more than 12 to take the top spot or more than 8 to take second. Wanderers would have to win by more that 14. Elsewhere, AUT FC and Boh’s Celtic face off at Takapuna’s Taharoto Park, with both teams currently sitting without a win in the relegation places.
In the Championship, the University of Auckland’s decision to default their game against Bohemian Celtic 2 saw them incur the first 3 point penalty of the 2018 season and gift the unbeaten league leaders with a 3-0 win. Whilst our eyes were at the Croatian Cultural Club, where HNK Auckland came out 3-1 winners against ASFA newbies FC Eagles, the match of the round was taking place over at Rathlin Street between United FC and Khukuri. Khukuri certainly pushed United all the way, but were unable to secure their first 3 points of the season, losing 6-5. Looking ahead, UoAFC and HNK both have tough Chatham Cup ties this weekend, meaning their round 6 fixture will need to take place on another date. Boh’s Celtic 2 will be looking to inflict more heartbreak on Khukuri and stretch their lead at the top of the table. Second placed FC Eagles host Third placed United FC in the rounds only other game.
There were goals a-plenty in League 1 this week with Dalian proving too strong for Western Wanderers and remaining unbeaten at the top of the league, following their 6-4 home win. Nixon Park remain only 2 points behind them in second place, however, after a 2-0 win over Kamarak. Zamantix Force’s 8-2 win over City Fringe sees them maintain third place a further 3 points behind Nixon. Zamantix Rovers Return proved too strong for AUT FC 2, winning 7-0, whilst the Spermwhales also added seven goals to their tally, and made it 2 from 2 since they dropped down a division, beating seventh placed Double Rum Greenhithe 7-1. Looking forward, it doesn’t get any easier for the Students who welcome Nixon Park to Taharoto Park this coming Sunday, whilst leaders Dalian are at home to DRG. Elsewhere, Zamantix Force host the Spermwhales, Zamantix RR host Western Wanderers and City Fringe host Kamarak.
Aotea Sport Eastern had the BYE this week in League 2, whilst an injury crisis at Albany Green Machine forced them to request a postponement of their game against Auckland Unicorns. Viet Stars ended the day on top of the division, leapfrogging their previously unbeaten opponents Waitakere Rangers on goal difference, thanks to an impressive 4-2 away win. Saigon FC sit third on the ladder, also unbeaten but two points behind the League’s top two teams, following their 5-2 away win over All Red. The Barry Curtis-based Saigon host the Rangers next Sunday, whilst Viet Stars will no doubt be hoping that the Albany Green Machine have enough players fit enough to host them at Rosedale Park. Aotea Sport Eastern return to action against Auckland Unicorns, whilst All Red have the bye.
Finally, in the over 35s Masters Conference, Waiheke Old Fullas find themselves sitting at the top with a two-point cushion over Zamantix Rovers Old Boys, following their 6-3 away win against Greenhithe City. The point earned in their 1-1 draw with Serious FC was enough to keep the Old Boys in second, a point ahead of Korean Tigers, U-Striker and last year’s champions the Old Fellas. The Tigers mauled Viet NZ 7-0 to ensure they sit on top of the other two teams on 7 points, who fought out a 2-2 draw on the artifical turf at Starling Park. Interestingly, first travels to play second next week at Bill McKinley Park, whilst third travels to play fourth at Pollard Park. Old Fellas host Serious and Viet NZ host Greenhithe City in the other two fixtures, in a division that – unlike the others – has no team(s) still waiting to secure their first win of the year.
until next week…