Home' Napier Mail : August 16th 2011 Contents 30 NAPIER MAIL, AUGUST 17, 2011 SPORTS
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Rovers in Cup final
Semi success: Rovers celebrate after the final whistle.
Mucking in: Napier City Rovers
striker Stu Wilson slides in the mud
to attempt a tackle at Park Island in
Sunday's 2-1 Chatham Cup semi-
final win against Caversham.
Photos: John Cowpland/
Bluewater Napier City Rovers
fought back from a goal down at
halftime to edge out Dunedin's
Caversham 2-1 on Sunday and
secure a place in the final of the
Chatham Cup for the first time
since last winning the national
knockout competition in 2002.
After conceding an early goal,
Rovers got back on equal terms
with a Stu Wilson penalty in the
49th minute before Josh
Stevenson slotted home the event-
ual winner nine minutes later.
Rovers then had to survive
some tense periods towards the
end of the game and a nerve-
wracking five minutes of extra
The cup final will now be an all
Central League affair after
Wairarapa United booked a
maiden final appearance with a
1-0 upset win over Bay Olympic in
Four-time cup winners Rovers
were put under pressure early by
Caversham, who looked more at
home playing in the rain on the
sodden pitch at Bluewater
Stadium at Park Island.
The visitors had all the ball and
got off to the perfect start when
Evan Jones found the back of the
net in just the fourth minute.
Frustrated by a lack of pos-
session, Rover Matt Hastings
picked up the first yellow card of
the game after 15 minutes, but
then 10 minutes later had Rovers'
first real chance on goal, but his
free kick went wide of the posts.
Stevenson picked up another
yellow minutes later, but Rovers
had started to enjoy more pos-
session and Wilson almost
managed to curl one into the top
corner in the 32nd minute.
Rovers had two chances in the
shadow of halftime. Caversham
keeper Callum Flaws denied his
name to safely parry away a shot
from Stevenson on 40 minutes,
and a minute later a Matt Hast-
ings' free kick looked goal-bound,
puddle in front of the left post.
But it was a different Rovers
side in the second half, and when
Andy Pickering was chopped
down from behind inside the box,
Wilson calmly stepped up and
buried the penalty into the top left
of the net.
Fergus Neil then provided the
cross from the right for Stevenson
to run on to the ball in the penalty
area and slot home the winner in
the 58th minute.
Caversham almost equalised in
the 66th minute when Ant
Hancock's shot hit the crossbar
with Rovers keeper Shaun Peta
well beaten. Peta then had to
endure an endless series of
Caversham corners curling
dangerously into his goal mouth
with the wind.
The five minutes of extra time
felt like an age for the Rovers fans
who had braved the inclement
weather, but Rovers held their
nerve to go through to the Cup
final which will be played on the
weekend of August 27 and 28 at a
venue to be decided this
week.Rovers also play Tawa at
home this Sunday, August 21 at
Bluewater Napier City Rovers 2
(Stu Wilson, pen; Josh Stevenson)
def Caversham 1 (Evan Jones).
Meanwhile Maycenvale United
thrashed Palmerston North Marist
5-1 in the Central League on
A hard fight ahead
Ready for rugby: The Napier Boys' High School squad is set to battle for national honours.
Napier Boys' High and tourna-
ment hosts Hastings Boys' High
will carry the hopes of Hawke's
Bay at the prestigious 33rd
National Under-15 Secondary
Schools Rugby Tournament being
played at Ellwood Park in Hast-
ings next week.
After finishing third last year,
the Napier Boys' High side,
coached by Pouri Rakete-Stones
and Steve Lloyd, will look to con-
tinue the school's proud history at
Napier Boys' has won the tour-
nament seven times and finished
in the top four on 17 occasions.
However, team manager Jeff
Pinfold says winning the gruelling
tournament -- where the eventual
winner will play six games in just
five days -- will be an even harder
task for the current side which
has suffered a number of injuries
in the lead-up.
We have used 32 players
already this year. We lost three
players for the season to knee
ligament injuries, one has sat out
with a dislocated elbow, one is
returning after two months off
with tonsillitis and glandular
fever, and another player is
returning from representing New
Zealand Under-17 in basketball,''
said Mr Pinfold. We always aim
to win and have a proud history at
this tournament. I am confident
that we can go all the way.''
The invitation-only tourna-
ment, featuring the best 16 junior
school rugby teams in the country,
starts at Elwood Park on Monday.
Pool games are on Monday and
Tuesday, with quarterfinals on
Wednesday, semis on Thursday
and the final on Friday.
In its pool matches, Napier
Boys' play Auckland's Mount
Albert Grammar at 11.45am on
Monday; St Bede's from Christ-
church at 3.45pm and Auckland's
Massey High School at 2pm on
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