College Sport report: Sept 9, 2009.
Kevin Fallon was banished to a watching brief away from the sideline action but there was no hiding the satisfaction he took as his new-look team collected another Lotto Premier title in Nelson.
With only four players who played the final a year earlier in action against Hamilton BHS, Fallon had some reservations as he headed south.
Not for long.
A 5-1 win over traditional rivals New Plymouth BHS - and with it the retention of the Egmont Cup - set MAGS on their way.
That was to be one of only three goals they conceded in six matches - the other two in a 5-2 semifinal win over tournament surprise packet Sacred Heart.
In the end MAGS scored 24 goals including two in their 2-0 win over Hamilton, a game described by Fallon as probably their worst of the week. Their cause was not helped in having key striker Pomare Te Anau suspended after being needlessly sent off in the semifinal win over Sacred Heart.
Young centre-back Matthew Rowland chose the right time to score his first goal of the season when he gave MAGS the lead just six minutes into the final. The scoring was completed eight minutes into the second half when goalkeeper Patrick George stepped forward to score from the spot after a Hamilton defender had handled in the area.
While he did not add to his impressive tally in the final, Dakota Lucas shared the golden boot as the leading scorer.
Nikko Boxall was named man of the match while MAGS captain and central defender Caleb Duncan was voted the tournament's most valuable player.
It was the 10th final MAGS have contested since 1999 and their sixth triumph.
Fallon has some work to do as he looks ahead to next season with about 50 per cent of his players expected to return.
August 31: AM: MAGS CRUISE TO FIRST UP VICTORY
posted a fine 5-1 victory versus traditional rivals New
Plymouth Boys' High School in their first up game at the Lotto
NZ Secondary Schools Premier Cup tournament in Nelson. In doing
so, they retained the Egmont Trophy.
slippery surface, MAGS quickly settled into their typical
pattern of possession football. After just six minutes,
Te Anau easily beat his marker and crossed for Lucas to slot
home from close range. Five minutes later, it was 2-0; a
neat Te Anau lay off came to Boss on the edge of the box; he
drove sweetly into the bottom left hand corner of the goal with
the New Plymouth keeper rooted to the spot.
Plymouth were battling hard, but MAGS were creating openings at
will. Hamilton came within inches of making it 3-0 when
he met a Te Anau cross inside the six yard box, but his flick
came back off the post. Then shots from Te Anau and Boss
were off target, and then somehow Poi contrived to miss with
the goal at his mercy.
of the blue, on 25 minutes, New Plymouth were back in the game;
a speculative shot caught Lowrie off his line; it was
2-1. MAGS responded immediately, lifting their work rate. After a patient build up, the ball came to Porter wide
on the left. He struck the ball high into the box and
was delighted to see the ball nestle in the top right hand
corner of the net. But was it a shot or a cross?
After the game, Porter was adamant it was a shot and his MAGS
teammates were thrilled at the full back's first goal of the
time score: 3-1
were no changes at half time and MAGS immediately swung onto
attack looking to increase their lead. A clever run
in-field and a neat through ball from Lucas found Te Anau one
on one with the keeper, but his curled effort just sailed wide
of the right upright. On 48 minutes Kochasira replaced Te
Anau. The winger had enjoyed a good game with two assists
and some dangerous runs.
Plymouth were hardly threatening, and MAGS continued to stroke
the ball around, composed at the back and frequently building
up nicely. After 53 minutes MAGS scored their fourth
goal. Poi battled hard to hold onto possession of the
right flank and then did brilliantly well to turn and deliver a
curling cross into the New Plymouth box. Hamilton met
the ball well and volleyed home giving the keeper no chance. Two minutes later Poi was replaced by Mesias.
MAGS continued to play patient football and were further
rewarded on 58 minutes. Again, a good build up found
Vale with time and space 30 yards out; he needed little
encouragement to shoot and drove the ball powerfully into the
victory was now theirs, MAGS eased off a little. Pavic
replaced Hamilton on 63 minutes and with three minutes to go
Fitzpatrick came on for Rowlands.
still had time to go close to extending their lead even more.
Mesias rifled a good shot on target and then Lucas surged into
the box and was clipped from behind. Had the speedy winger gone
to ground a penalty would have been a certainty; to his credit,
Lucas stayed on his feet, but was unable to steer the ball into
time score: 5 - 1
MAGS: Lowrie, Boxall, Rowlands, Duncan (c), Porter, Vale Poi, Boss, Te Anau, Hamilton, L ucas .
Substitutes: Kochasira for Te Anau 48 th minute, Mesias for Poi 55 th minute, Pavic for Hamilton 63 rd minute, Fitzpatrick for Rowlands 67 th minute. Not used: George.
Man of the Match: Hayden Porter
Referee: Callum Alexander
August 31: PM. TWO FROM TWO FOR MAGS
champions MAGS made it two from two at the Lotto NZ Secondary
Schools Premier Cup tournament with a 5-0 drubbing of last
years beaten finalists, Hamilton Boys High School.
were in the mood to show the Waikato team who was boss of Pool
A after HBHS had disposed of Shirley Boys 3-1 earlier in the
day and, although playing into a strong breeze, quickly settled
down to some nice ball to feet football. After four
minutes MAGS launched their first serious attack. Lucas won
back-to back corners on the right, the second of which was
cleared, but only to Boss; the midfielder's shot flew wide. MAGS were dominating and HBHS seemed content just to
pump hopeful balls downfield.
all the possession it was just a matter of time before MAGS
opened the scoring. Boss combined well with Te Anau down
the left and the winger's cross found Poi, who slotted home. Just two minutes later MAGS doubled their lead.
Porter showed terrific acceleration down the left flank and his
back post cross was met perfectly on the volley by Lucas.
were showing fight, but looked tired against the sharp MAGS
midfield, and a series of fouls for late challenges were
committed by the opposition. It came as no surprise,
then, when Boss was brought down after a surging run into the
HBHS box. Referee Linney pointed to the spot and Duncan
stepped up looking for his opening goal of the tournament. But the skipper struck the ball weakly and too straight;
his parried effort fell to him again, but he was unable to
redeem himself and blazed over the bar.
was a scare for MAGS on 31 minutes. Lowrie raced off his
goal line, after Duncan had lost possession, leaving his net
unguarded. The ball fell to HBHS but the goal bound shot
was headed clear by Matt Rowlands. A minute before half
time and MAGS went three up. A lovely one two on the right
between Boss and Te Anau resulted in the midfielder crossing to
Hamilton who finished into an empty net.
time score: 3-0
MAGS turned around with the wind at their backs they were in
confident mood. There were no changes at half time, but
shortly after the break Fitzpatrick replaced Rowlands and
Meisas came on for Boss. Mesias was soon into action and
on 45 minutes the flying Lucas fed him the ball 25 yards out. Mesias struck the ball sweetly and the HBHS keeper saved
well only to see the ball fall to Lucas again, who made no
mistake from the rebound; 4-0 to MAGS.
had been playing at a different level to HBHS, but entered a
period were they got a little sloppy. After 50 minutes
Pavic replaced Hamilton and Kochasira came on for Lucas.
MAGS were well on top and more goals threatened. A free
kick from Mesias was met powerfully by Duncan but his header
came off the post. George replaced a hobbling Poi on 63
minutes. George went up front and Te Anau dropped to
central midfield. Minutes later Mesias won another free
kick; his delivery found Duncan again, but this time his
volleyed effort was well saved.
two minutes left MAGS made it five; once again Te Anau was the
provider. He picked up a loose ball and slipped in Kochasira,
who calmly clipped the ball into the corner of the net.
No one could refute the MAGS dominance or the 5-0 scoreline. At the death MAGS conceded a penalty after Vale was
adjudged to have tripped a HBHS player. It seemed a
harsh decision from the match official Peter Linney, who had
done brilliantly well and, at just 17, showed he is a referee
beyond his years. Perhaps justice was done, however, as
HBHS fired their opportunity of a consolation goal wide of the
time score: 5-0
MAGS: Lowrie, Boxall, Rowlands, Duncan (c), Porter, Vale Poi, Boss, Te Anau, Hamilton, L ucas .
Substitutes: Fitzpatrick for Rowlands 44 th minute, Mesias for Boss 44 th minute, Pavic for Hamilton 50 th minute, Kochasira for Lucas 50 th minute, George for Poi 63 rd minute.
Man of the Match: Dakota Lucas
Referee: Peter Linney
1: MAGS CLAIM TOP SPOT
but a disaster could have prevented MAGS from finishing top of
Pool A at the Lotto NZ Secondary Schools Premier Cup; as it was
MAGS eased to a 4-0 win over Shirley Boys' High School.
MAGS could even afford to rest the key players Duncan, Boss,
Lucas and Poi ahead of the sudden death stage of the
tournament; as it was those deputising performed well.
The early exchanges between the two sides were scrappy, however, and this was due in large part to the poor state of the playing surface, which the classy MAGS side had been forced to play on three games in a row.
a sluggish start the game exploded into life after five
minutes. Te Anau cut in from the left wing and played a
lovely angled ball for Kochasira to run onto; the forward
charged forward and looked to round the Shirley keeper but was
taken out just outside the 18-yard box. The Shirley
keeper was lucky to get away with just a yellow card, but
seconds later his punishment was doubled as he found himself
picking the ball out of the net. Te Anau flighted an
inviting free kick over the defensive wall, which Hamilton met
with a powerful and well directed header.
MAGS were trying to play passing football in the mud, but the task was tough; the Shirley boys were harrying well and not giving an inch on defence. Pavic and Hamilton were lively and showing some good touches, but most of the game was being played around the half way line. On 22 minutes some neat work by Te Anau found Boxall; his pin point cross was aimed for Pavic who slipped over under little pressure. Moments later Te Anau delivered a searching cross into the Shirley box, but the ball came back off the far post and ran to safety.
now looked to be lagging and the MAGS pressure was starting to
mount. Pavic held the ball up well and set up Kochasira
for a snap shot which flew wide. Then Te Anau fed Mesias
who fired over from 25 yards.
On 32 minutes Pavic had the ball in the net, but the official called play back for an earlier offside. There was a scare for MAGS just before half-time; Vale took a defensive throw which put captain for the day, Matt Rowlands, under huge pressure. In the resulting melee, Mesias committed a foul on the edge of the MAGS box and received the side's first yellow card of the tournament. The Shirley free kick was fired harmlessly at Lowrie. The half time whistle came as welcome relief to the Christchurch players, who were barely hanging on.
time score: 1-0
changes were made at half time. Boss came on for Boxall,
who had been a brutal force, and Patrick George made his
tournament debut in place of Lowrie.
from kick off Boss was involved, feeding Te Anau down the left. The winger cut in but seemed unsure as to whether to
shoot or pass to Kochasira; in the end he did neither and the
ball was given away cheaply. After 38 minutes Hamilton
showed great desire and chased down the Shirley defence to win
a corner. Te Anau's delivery was spot on and Fitzpatrick
headed home at the back post.
2-0 a third change was made. Duncan replaced the lively
Vale and Fitzpatrick switched to right back. Boss and Te
Anau were combining well and after 40 minutes the two conspired
to set up Mesias, who slotted wide. After 45 minutes
Boss was in the thick of things again, this time he met a cross
from the right only to see his volleyed effort headed off the
line. Lucas joined the fray after 47 minutes as Te
Anau's contribution (two more assists) came to an end.
had been quiet for most of the match for the MAGS defensive
unit, but after 52 minutes George was forced into action. He did well to come out and claim a back post cross, but
then threw the ball to the opposition winger. He was
able to save face, as he collected the resultant shot, and then
did even better with a precision clearance into space behind
the Shirley backline. Lucas needed no further
invitation; his pace was too much and his left foot finish was
simply stunning. MAGS 3 Shirley 0.
Shirley kept battling away even though the game was up. Poi replaced Mesias after 54 minutes. MAGS were now content to ease off and were just trying to knock the ball around. After 60 minutes MAGS had their fourth of the day. Poi fed Kochasira who crossed well from the right; under pressure a Shirley defender turned the ball into his own goal. It was the last significant act of the game. MAGS had claimed top spot in Pool A. Given their form, they must be favourites to win their quarter final fixture tomorrow against Pool D runners up, Tauranga Boys' High School.
time score: 4-0
MAGS: Lowrie, Vale, Fitzpatrick, Rowlands(c), Porter, Boxall, Mesias, Te Anau, Hamilton, Pavic, Kochasira.
Substitutes: Boss for Boxall 36 th minute, George for Lowrie 36 th minute, Duncan for Vale 40 th minute, Lucas for Te Anau 47 th minute, Poi for Mesias 54 th minute.
Man of the Match: Dakota Lucas
Referee: Michael White
September 2: MAGS SECURE SEMI-FINAL BERTH
MAGS secured a semi-final spot today with a hard fought 3 - 0 victory of Tauranga Boys' High School. Played in sunny conditions and a swirling wind on a previously unused surface, MAGS were in focused mood at kick off. But any thoughts the quarter final fixture against the Pool D runners-up would be a breeze were soon dismissed; the Bay of Plenty boys were charging into challenges right from the outset.
fact, Tauranga enjoyed the greater possession in the opening 10
minutes; they weren't especially threatening the MAGS goal, but
MAGS were finding it hard to string passes together.
After 13 minutes Tauranga won a corner after a cross from the
right was headed to safety by Nikko Boxall. George punched
the corner kick clear; the resultant shot from Tauranga sailed
over the MAGS bar. Tauranga were winning much of the
second-phase ball in midfield. Boss was working hard but
Vale was struggling against his more physical opponents and Poi
MAGS started to look better on the quarter hour mark. Boxall, Te Anau and Lucas combined well, only for Lucas to put his cross over the bye-line. MAGS were starting to gain a foothold; the early gusto from Tauranga had faded a little. MAGS finally launched a trademark attack on 20 minutes. Boxall played the ball to Te Anau who cut in from the right, beat two players and shot left footed. His effort hit the upright and bounced back to Lucas; amazingly his follow up effort also hit the frame of the goal. After surviving this near miss, it was then MAGS turn to almost concede. A left-wing cross brought George into action; he gathered well and looked to be fouled in the air as the ball spilled from his hands. No infringement was spotted by referee Mills, but incredibly Tauranga could only bundle the ball wide of the post.
MAGS were still finding it difficult to dictate in midfield, but the complexion of the game was soon to change. Boxall, at right back, swapped with Vale in the holding midfield position. Neither player had looked particularly convincing in their starting positions, but the change had an instant effect on both players. Vale was active and alert and Boxall was clearly up for the physical battle. MAGS were seeing more of the ball and holding on to it. Boss now sparked into life and was felled by an agricultural challenge on the half hour for which he needed treatment whereas the Tauranga 13 received a deserved yellow card.
more ball for MAGS, Te Anau became the frequent outlet. He
continually tormented the Tauranga left back; no clear chances
were being created, but onlookers sensed the Tauranga rearguard
was starting to creak.
time score: 0-0
were no changes at half time. MAGS kicked off and soon picked
up where they left off at the end of the first half. After 44
minutes, Vale played a neat ball into the feet of Lucas; he
turned, but shot over. Lucas was into action again three
minutes later, and looked odds on to score as he worked his way
into the 18-yard box; a great cover tackle saved the day for
Tauranga. After 48 minutes Boss was targeted again; taken
out by a brutally late challenge.The burly number 5 was
cautioned and then instantly substituted by the Tauranga
goal MAGS had been threatening to score finally came on 54
minutes; and it was a brilliant strike. Wide on the right,
Vale found the chest of Lucas ten yards out. He turned his
marker with ease and fired home with his left foot. MAGS were
ahead and on top.
great work by Porter and Poi on 60 minutes led to the latter
clipping in a fine cross which Lucas headed just
wide. Still, not all the traffic was one
way. Rowlands and Duncan had been solid all game, but
after 64 minutes the stout MAGS backline failed to clear; the
sharp shot was well held by George. Then Porter flew into
a challenge late and was booked. Vale then seemed to lose
concentration and needlessly gave away a corner. The delivery
fell to the edge of the MAGS box, but Rowlands was alert and
needed a second goal to kill off the tie. On 68 minutes,
MAGS thought they had just that. A Te Anau shot rebounded
off the upright, but the follow up effort from Poi hit the
target. However the goal was struck out for an earlier
infringement. Any disappointment soon evaporated six
minutes later. Poi played in Boss whose shot was saved,
but the lurking Lucas picked up the scraps and rifled home.
2-0, and with just six minutes left, it looked all over for
Tauranga. And sure enough, it soon was. Boss was yet again
clattered in an awful challenge; the Tauranga 15 was fortunate
to receive only a yellow, but he then chose to give the match
official a piece of his mind and was rightly marched.
A raft of changes were ready to be made on 75 minutes. Mesias replaced the battered and bruised Boss and then Fitzpatrick came on to Vale at right back. Fitzpatrick's first touch was a cross for Lucas, who was about to be substituted himself. Somehow Lucas out jumped his taller marker and headed home his, and the MAGS, third. The striker had been in scintillating form and his hat trick was "a perfect"; a goal with his right foot, his left foot and his head.
then replaced Lucas and Pavic came on for
Hamilton. Moments later the game ended.
MAGS were through to the semis where they will meet fellow Auckland side, Sacred Heart; they had edged out Nayland in a penalty shoot out thriller. In the other semi-final the vanquishers of Auckland Grammar, Palmerston North Boys High School, will meet Hamilton Boys High School who convincingly disposed of Westlake Boys.
Full time score: 3-0
MAGS: George, Boxall, Rowlands, Duncan(c), Porter, Vale, Boss, Poi, Te Anau, Hamilton, Lucas.
Substitutes: Mesias for Boss 75 th minute, Fitzpatrick for Vale 77 th minute, Kochasira for Lucas 79 th minute, Pavic for Hamilton 79 th minute.
Man of the Match: Dakota Lucas
ONE WIN FROM GLORY
are finalists for the second year running after a 5 - 2 victory
over Sacred Heart in an eventful semi-final meeting between the
two Auckland sides at the Lotto NZ Secondary Schools Premier
Cup in Nelson. The joy of victory was somewhat tempered
after the loss of influential winger Pomare Te Anau, who
received a straight red card for dissent.
MAGS were in confident mood at kick off, knowing they had outplayed the gifted young Scared Heart College side on the two previous occasions the sides had met in 2009.
as it was, the early ball was with Sacred Heart. Porter
was slow to switch on and lost out to his nippy opponent who
forced a corner, which wasn't fully cleared; Boss was alert to
block the resultant Sacred Heart shot. Then, after four
minutes, a shot from Sacred Heart was saved by George, who then
lost the ball before quickly re-gathering.
This seemed to stir MAGS into life. On seven minutes, three fouls were committed in quick succession by Sacred Heart. Referee Linney had seen enough; it was a yellow card for the Sacred Heart number 2 and a free kick in a dangerous position for MAGS. As the tall men lined up at the back post for MAGS one sensed a good delivery by Te Anau would reap reward. Sure enough Duncan met the flighted cross to head home from eight yards.
A second Sacred Heart player went into the referee's book just four minutes later as Lucas got the better of his marker. In just about an action replay of the first goal, Te Anau's free kick from the left was met by the head of Fitzpatrick. This time the Sacred Heart keeper parried well, but with the goal line begging, neither Hamilton nor Lucas could react quickly enough.
17 minutes Fitzpatrick was into action again; this time he
clattered his opponent late and was cautioned.
MAGS pressure was relentless; but credit to Sacred Heart, their
heads hadn't dropped following the goal.
Lucas drew another free kick on 31 minutes, this time on the right. Te Anau again delivered to perfection and Duncan rose highest to double his, and MAGS, tally. Te Anau was exerting a great influence on the game; he was at his magical best beating players at will down the left flank. As the first 40 minutes came to an end, MAGS reflected on a half were they were largely untroubled by the Sacred Heart outfit.
Half time score: 2 - 0
came on for the injured Fitzpatrick at half time; Boxall
slotted in to right back and Mesias took up a midfield role.
But there was a sharp reminder about how quickly a football
game can change just one minute after the commencement of the
Heart gained possession on the edge of the MAGS 18 yard box; a
speculative effort saw the ball come off Duncan's arm. It was a
penalty to Sacred Heart and a yellow card for the MAGS skipper.
It was a controversial decision; there appeared to be little deliberate movement from Duncan - but more controversy followed. George did terrifically well to dive to his right to keep the spot kick out. But referee Linney ordered a re-take and this time the Sacred Heart player made no mistake, firing down the middle. It was 2-1, but to make things worse Te Anau received a straight red card for an untoward comment to Mr Linney.
With 39 minutes left, and down to 10 ten against a fired up Sacred Heart side, MAGS needed to show their true character; it took just two minutes to do so. Boss played Lucas in on the left; his pace was too much and his finish too clinical. MAGS had restored their two goal buffer.
game was now an open affair. With a one man advantage,
Sacred Heart were enjoying more possession, but were not
greatly troubling the composed MAGS back four. Rather it
was MAGS who were looking dangerous on the break and creating
clear chances. Hamilton clipped over after 47 minutes and after
50 minutes Boxall drove into the Sacred Heart box only to shoot
over the bar. The tie appeared to be over after 63
minutes. Mesias was clearly held back when breaking
quickly and the culprit was cautioned. Mesias then drove
the free kick low into the box; Hamilton was quickest to the
ball and stabbed home from close range.
4 Sacred Heart 1.
just two minutes later Sacred Heart had another lifeline. They won a free kick 30 yards out; the shot was off
target but cruelly struck Lucas and flew beyond the reach of
Sacred Heart were now giving everything against the 10-man MAGS, who looked to be tiring. After 70 minutes Poi was cautioned for a lazy challenge. The resultant free kick was well struck and brought a super save from George. But Sacred Heart were tiring now too, and they looked spent. Vale came on for Poi as MAGS looked to play out the last five minutes. Pavic replaced Hamilton on 78 minutes and then, in stoppage time MAGS, finished the tie off in style. Porter found Boss who sped around the Sacred Heart right back. His cut back was perfect and Lucas could not miss from five yards.
The final whistle came soon after. It was great effort from Sacred Heart; who will now battle for third and fourth place. But on the day MAGS had too much overall strength, speed and nous.
repeat of the 2008 final, MAGS will meet Pool A rivals Hamilton
Boys' High School. MAGS will start as favourites to take
out the title, but the Waikato Boys must be respected after
their amazing 4 - 3 victory after being three down against
Palmerston North Boys' High.
time score: 5 - 2
MAGS: George, Fitzpatrick, Rowlands, Duncan(c), Porter, Boxall, Boss, Poi, Te Anau, Hamilton, Lucas.
Substitutes: Mesias for Fitzpatrick 40 th minute, Vale for Poi 75 th minute, Pavic for Hamilton 78 th minute. Not used: Kochasira, Lowrie
Man of the Match: Caleb Duncan
Cautions: Fitzpatrick, Duncan, Poi
Dismissals: Te Anau
are the number one New Zealand secondary schools' football team
for the second year running after taking out the Lotto NZ
Secondary Schools Premier Cup in Nelson. At the final
whistle, it seemed as if relief outweighed jubilation; such are
the hefty achievements of past MAGS teams it means MAGS are
always the tournament favourites. But the 2009 team have
now proven they are true greats; MAGS were clear champions this
week, having won all of their games and scoring 24 goals while
conceding just three. The final game itself was no
spectacle; MAGS simply did what they had to do against a
Hamilton Boys' High School team they had demolished 5-0 in pool
kicked off under a clear sky with no wind; the best footballing
conditions of the week. Often this week's MAGS had been
a little slow to start, but they took it to HBHS straight away. After two minutes Porter and Lucas combined well to put
in Hamilton. The young striker has made great strides in
recent games but still showed he is hesitant at times; he
failed to shoot when the sharp chance came his way.
Seconds later, a brilliant chip from Duncan found Lucas.
All money was on the star forward to add to his impressive
tournament tally, but he fired over. On four minutes,
MAGS strung together more than 20 passes, an ominous sign for
HBHS; the move ended when Boss narrowly failed to convert at
the front post.
was all MAGS. After six minutes, Lucas found space wide
on the left and was dragged down. Boss stepped up and
his free kick found Rowlands unmarked three yards out.
The young centre back made no mistake; it was the perfect time
to score his first goal of the season. MAGS were rocking
and dominant in every aspect of the game. Chances came
for Poi after a nice lay off from Kochasira, and then for Boss
after a neat ball from Lucas, but in spite of all the early
dominance MAGS could not add to their tally.
game then entered a strange period. Instead of going for
the throat, MAGS seemed content just to knock the ball around. Slowly and surely, HBHS found their way back into the
game. MAGS complacency was clearly evident on 21
minutes; a poor clearance under no pressure from George found
an HBHS player; his shot was heading for the back of the net
until the keeper recovered and tipped the ball wide for a
were back in the game, which was now a scrappy affair.
Lucas found Boss on 27 minutes; the midfielder was MAGS most
lively player and he slipped a clever ball to Hamilton.
But the big striker was asleep and a good opportunity went
begging. HBHS weren't creating much, but were feeding
off MAGS errors and shooting any time a chance arose. There was
a real scare on 29 minutes. The MAGS rearguard failed to
deal with a HBHS free kick and the ball fell to HBHS; the
resultant shot was well saved by George, who deflected the ball
off the outside of the post for a corner. It was the
wake up call MAGS needed; they started to pick up the pace and
wrenched the game back in their favour.
tactical change, Boxall and Vale switched; the latter went in
to full back and the former took up his more accustomed role in
defensive midfield. This improved the shape of MAGS,
particularly with Boxall's intelligent understanding of space.
Just before half-time, Mesias replaced an out-of-sorts
Kochasira, who had been drafted in for the suspended Te Anau;
it was clear MAGS were missing their flying winger.
Mesias slotted into central midfield and Boss moved wide on the
time score: 1-0
just 40 minutes from glory, MAGS received a stiff talking to at
half time. They swung onto attack early and Boss's cross
should have found a MAGS striker, but neither Hamilton nor
Lucas could collect. A similar move on 43 minutes was
much more what MAGS were looking for. This time Mesias
met Boss's cross, but his header was well saved. Boss
was proving to be the key outlet for MAGS. On 48 minutes, he
was in action again. His cross was delivered at pace
and, in panic, a HBHS defender handled in the 18 yard box. George stepped up to take the spot kick and with great
surety fired straight down the middle. At 2-0 MAGS has
some breathing space. The MAGS tails were up and they
really sparked into life. Lucas dazzled down the left
and was pulled down; HBHS received the first, and only, caution
of the well-contested, but clean game. The free kick
delivery was poor, however, as were successive corner kicks.
10 minutes left MAGS looked tired in body and mind; thankfully
HBHS looked more so. MAGS were now content to run down
the clock. They were keeping the ball and snuffing out
HBHS with ease. There was little goal mouth action from
either side now. Pavic came on for a brief cameo on 75 minutes;
he replaced Hamilton who had grown in stature during the week. The final whistle came and MAGS were champions again! Since 1999 it had been their tenth final appearance and
sixth victory; an unprecedented record.
honours deservedly belonged to MAGS. There were
individual accolades also. Caleb Duncan was voted
tournament MVP, Dakota Lucas shared the golden boot, and Nikko
Boxall was selected as the man of the match in the final by the
HBHS coaching staff.
Kevin Fallon has been banned from participating in the
tournament and had been reduced to watching from the sidelines. But afterwards with great pride he said, "We were the
best side in Nelson; the final scoreboard tells the story." It is a story MAGS hope to repeat for many years yet.
Full time score: 2-0
MAGS: George, Vale, Rowlands, Duncan(c), Porter, Boxall, Boss, Poi, Kochasira, Hamilton, Lucas.
Substitutes: Mesias for Kochasira 37 th minute, Pavic for Hamilton 75 th minute. Not used: Fitzpatrick, Lowrie
Man of the Match: Caleb Duncan/Matt Rowlands