Westlake Boys 1st XI Football finished fourth at the Lotto Premier National tournament, held in Papamoa from 29 August-2 September. The team made the best possible start to their group matches when they convincingly beat traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School 3-0 and forced their way into the last eight of tournament with a gutsy 1-1 all draw against a powerful Hamilton Boys High School team.
Westlake then went on to book a semi-final berth with a confident 2-0 win over Wellington College in a game which they controlled from start to finish but it was familiar foes, Sacred Heart College, who finally put an end to the Westlake’s successful run. The team’s gutsy performance in a tense semi-final, where both sides were evenly matched, proved not enough when a late Sacred Heart goal dashed Westlake’s hopes of the championship title.
The last match for third and fourth place against Auckland Grammar saw a much changed team due to injury and exhaustion. Despite this, Westlake fringe players performed confidently in what was always going to be a difficult game following the deflation of a semi-final loss. Westlake started on the front foot and deservedly took the lead but a defensive tackle conceded a penalty that was duly converted, leaving the score 1-1 at full time. The match went straight to the lottery of penalties with Grammar converting all of theirs, while some tired Westlake efforts were saved by the opposition keeper.
Congratulations to all players who performed magnificently all week, pushing the eventual New Zealand champions (Sacred Heart) all the way in the semi-final. Specials thanks to Messrs McBride, Berry and Buckingham for their dedication and support throughout the year.
Match Reports Lotto Premier National tournament, Papamoa, 29 August – 2 September
WESTLAKE SMASH GRAMMAR IN CONFIDENT START
Westlake Boys 3 – Auckland Grammar School 0
Westlake made the best possible start to their group games when they convincingly beat traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School 3-0. In overcast conditions, Westlake put on a positive start and Matt Conroy’s pace put him through on goal, only for a well-timed tackle to deny him a shot at goal. Westlake dominated possession and took the lead in the 19th minute when Clarke Fould’s cross was neatly controlled by Daniel Lough and the midfielder angled his shot past the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Matt Conroy was a constant threat and when he beat his man on the left, his excellent cross couldn’t be capitalised on. The pacey striker continued to create chances in the second half and shot wide when Drew Farnsworth was free in front of goal. Inevitably it was Conroy who set up Westlake’s second goal when he beat his marker on the right before crossing to Lough who scored from close range. Conroy sealed his man of the match performance when his through ball found his strike partner Farnsworth who drew the keeper before calmly slotting home. At 3-0 Westlake were in total control and when Conroy was fouled in the penalty area Lough took the resulting penalty in search of a hat trick… but blasted the ball over the bar.
Team: Tyrone Stretton, Keanen Bhagaloo, Clarke Foulds, View Rungpao, Trent Baker, Greg Nimmo, Daniel Lough, Matt Conroy, Drew Farnsworth, Jack Pirie. Subs: Thomas Hett, Joe Benbow, Harrison Piper, Daniel Mitten, Callum Diprose. Scorers: Daniel Lough 2 and Drew Farssworth.
WESTLAKE BOOK QUARTER FINAL BERTH IN BATTLING DRAW
Westlake Boys 1- Hamilton Boys High School 1
Westlake forced their way into the last eight of the Lotto Premier National Tournament with a gutsy draw against a powerful Hamilton Boys High School team. Both teams started cautiously in what would be a crucial group game for either of them. Hamilton took the lead after 10 minutes from a free kick that saw one of their players score from close range with an unchallenged header.
Westlake were rocked but slowly worked their way back into the game and found an equalizing goal in the 21st minute. Matt Conroy’s pace saw him get behind the Hamilton defence and when he was fouled captain Greg Nimmo stepped up and curled home a wonderful free kick from 25 yards.
Westlake tired in the second half and had to withstand many Hamilton attacks. Nimmo cleared one shot off his own goal line, Hamilton missed a hotly disputed penalty and Westlake’s keeper, Trent Stretton made several vital saves. In a brave effort Westlake held fast and saw out the remaining minutes to book a quarter final berth. A win in their final group game against Tawa College will see them qualify as top seeds.
Team: Tyrone Stretton, Keanen Bhagaloo, Clarke Foulds, Trent Baker, Greg Nimmo, Daniel Lough, Callum Diprose, Matt Conroy, Drew Farnsworth and Jack Pirie. Subs: Thomas Hett, Jack Benbow, Harrison Piper, Daniel Mitten and View Rungpao. Scorers: Greg Nimmo
WESTLAKE COMMANDING IN QUARTER-FINAL WIN
Westlake Boys 2 – Wellington College 0
Westlake booked a semi-final berth with a confident win over Wellington College in a game they controlled from start to finish. On a perfect pitch Westlake enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in a totally dominant first half performance. After a sustained period of pressure, Bronson Kelly won possession and found Daniel Lough on the left, the midfielder beat his marker before directing his left foot shot past the keeper and into the corner of the net from 20 yards out. Westlake then forced a series of corners most of which resulted in half chances but the vital final touch could not be found.
The second half saw Westlake tire a little and the opposition were able to keep possession for longer periods. However, Westlake’s goal was rarely threatened and keeper Trent Stretton was not called into action. The decisive second goal arrived in the 70th minute and was worth the wait. From a short corner Bronson Kelly cut inside and delivered a measured cross to the near post which the flashing Conroy headed home with ease.
Team: Tyrone Stretton, Keanen Bhagaloo, Clarke Foulds, Matt Conroy, View Rungpao, Trent Baker, Gregg Nimmo, Bronson Kelly, Drew Farnsworth, Daniel Lough and Jack Pirie. Subs: Thomas Hett, Jack Benbow, Harrison Piper, Daniel Mitten, Callum Diprose. Scorers: Daniel Lough 33rd, Matt Conroy 70th.
WESTLAKE EDGED IN TENSE SEMI-FINAL
Westlake Boys 0 – Sacred Heart College 1
Westlake bowed out of the national tournament despite a gutsy performance in a tense semi-final against familiar foes Sacred Heart College. The teams were evenly matched and largely cancelled each other out in a first half that was attritional and fast paced. Westlake almost took the lead after 25 minutes when Bronson Kelly’s speculative lob from distance bounced of the cross bar with the keeper beaten. Westlake’s keeper, Trent Stretton, denied Sacred Heart with a spectacular one handed save after a midfielder had been allowed the freedom of the park shoot. In a blow to Westlake’s attacking shape, striker Matt Conroy had to leave the pitch with a concussion late in the half and half time saw the score locked 0-0.
The second half continued in much the same vein as neither team gave an inch. Westlake came so close to breaking the deadlock when Daniel Lough cut in from the right and hammered his shot goal wards. Somehow the Sacred Heart keeper got a hand to the ball and palmed it onto the cross bar in an astonishing save. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Sacred Heart won a corner and when the ball was not cleared, a header from close range saw them take a one goal lead. Westlake continued to press for an equalizer but couldn’t find a way through the resolute Sacred Heart defense.
Team: Tyrone Stretton, Keanen Bhagaloo, Clarke Foulds, Matt Conroy, View Rungpao, Trent Baker, Greg Nimmo, Callum Diprose, Bronson Kelly, Drew Farnsworth, Daniel Lough and Jack Pirie. Subs: Thomas Hett, Jack Benbow, Harrison Piper, Daniel Mitten and Callum Diprose.
WESTLAKE PIPPED FOR THIRD IN DRAMATIC MATCH
Westlake Boys 2 – Auckland Grammar School 2 (Penalties 1-3)
Westlake finished fourth in New Zealand after being pipped in a penalty shoot-out by perennial rivals Auckland Grammar School. Fielding a much changed team due to injury and exhaustion, Westlake fringe players performed confidently in what is always a difficult game following the deflation of a semi-final loss.
Westlake started on the front foot and deservedly took the lead when Drew Farnsworth beat two defenders on right of box before squaring the ball to Dan Mitten who side-footed home from eight yards. The exertions of a week of football were evident when stand out defender Trent Baker brought down an AGS player in a tired tackle and conceded a penalty that was duly converted. Westlake retook the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half when View Rungpao’s pass put Farnsworth in on goal and the striker calmly beat the advancing keeper.
The second half saw both teams start to tire and struggle to maintain possession but Westlake looked to have seen out the game before Grammar were awarded a last minute corner. The looping cross was swung in which caused confusion in the Westlake defense and ultimately the ball ended up in the back of the net with nobody sure exactly how it had got there.
The match went straight to the lottery of penalties with Grammar converting all of theirs while some tired Westlake efforts were saved by the opposition keeper. Westlake debutant keeper Thomas Hett did manage to save consecutive penalties but both saves were ruled out, somewhat harshly by the referee. The Westlake players had performed magnificently all week and had pushed the eventual New Zealand champions (Sacred Heart) all the way in the semi-final.