SIX IN A ROW FOR MIGHTY MAGS
When the final whistle sounded today at Alberton Avenue playing-through champions Mount Albert Grammar School had written their own piece of football history. A record that had been in place since 1939 was beaten by the MAGS 2009 team.
What was even more remarkable was that only six of the players who faced a confident St Peter's played against them in the first round. Into the team came Goalkeeper Igor Lowrie, winger Arnold Kochasira and midfield player Jordan Vale.
Sporting a new Lotto black away strip, MAGS were under pressure instantly when Rory Kelly, the St Peters striker, forced a left wing corner in the 4th minute. St Peter's forced three successive corners, two of which were cleared off the line by Jordan Vale and then finally saved by an alert Lowrie debuting in the MAGS goal. His second save was a wonderful finger-tip reaction dive to his left. MAGS survived and finally started to settle to their task.
In the 11th minute, speedy right winger Dakota Lucas crossed for Conrad Poi to shoot twice, but his shots were blocked only to roll out to fellow midfield player Jordan Vale. Vale's drive was cruelly deflected past a dejected Scott Armisted in the St Peter's goal. MAGS were 1-0 ahead.
In the 18th minute, a Kochasira corner was headed over the bar by Jude Fitzpatrick. A minute later Ethan Galbraith repeated the action by heading over the MAGS crossbar with only Lowrie to beat.
MAGS appeared to be struggling to cope with the St Peter's far post free kicks and corners. Then MAGS stunned St Peter's again with a Lucas-Vale combination that the lively right winger headed home.
2 - 0 to MAGS in the 22nd minute.
Approaching the half hour, Lucas went on a scintillating solo run, beating five trailing St Peter's players to tap the ball past Armistad in the 29th minute. St Peter's looked shocked and stunned Lucas was on fire and there was very little anyone could do about it.
MAGS were now playing with a lot of confidence and dominating territory and possession. Jordan Vale was cautioned in the 33rd minute for ungentlemanly conduct.
St Peter's striker Rory Kelly got a left-foot shot blocked by Lowrie in the 41st minute, the shot was picked up in the MAGS half and resulted in a Lucas cross being headed into his own goal by a St Peter's defender. The game as a contest was over. MAGS went into the half time break 4-0 ahead and, no doubt, full of confidence for the rest of the contest.
Half time MAGS 4 St Peter's 0
Karlo Pavic was replaced at half time by Faitalia Hamilton.
It only took a minute for MAGS to extend their lead it was that man Lucas again who slipped a deft pass through to fellow winger Arnold Kochasira, who delicately chipped the ball over a prostrate Armisted to give MAGS the perfect start to the game. At 5 - 0 ahead the Championship definitely looked like staying at Alberton Avenue.
In the 50th minute Lucas completed his hat trick when a powerful shot from 20 yards was too strong for Armisted in the St Peter's goal 6 - 0 to MAGS. The game stopped in the 54th minute when the referee Tony Mason was replaced by his assistant referee. It was unfortunate for Mason who was having a good game.
MAGS now looked content to play out the game cruising to yet another convincing victory. St Peter's looked a frustrated team and their plight showed with central midfield player Ethan Galbraith cautioned for a late tackle on Jordan Vale in the 73rd minute.
MAGS then went to the bench with Tom Boss coming on for Jude Fitzpatrick and Jordan Vale going to right back.
It was now a practice match for MAGS and both substitutes were joining in the fun.
The final shake of the dice came with Pomare Te Anau replacing Arnold Kochasira on the right wing in the 81st minute. Kochasira had been a constant threat to the St Peter's rearguard with his high work rate and pace.
With only nine minutes to go Galbraith was sent from the field of play for another dubious tackle. It just about summed up the misery of St Peter's coach Brett McMurdoch and his players.
On a day when MAGS rewrote the history books McMurdoch said afterwards, "MAGS are a good team. I congratulate them on their success. We came here today from a good winning run and were taken apart."
Final result: MAGS 6 St Peter's 0
Team: Lowrie, Fitzpatrick, Duncan(c), Rowlands, Porter, Kochasira, Boxall, Poi, Vale, Lucas, Pavic.
Substitutions: Hamilton for Pavic 46th minute, Boss for Fitzpatrick 74th minute, Te Anau for Kochasira 81 Goalscorers : Lucas 3, Vale, Kochasira, og.
Referee: Mr Tony Mason.
Man of the Match: Dakota Lucas