Central Leader : January 18th 2012
www.centralleader.co.nz 23 CENTRAL LEADER, JANUARY 18, 2012 SPORT Crunch time for cricket It's coming up to crunch time in the Auckland cricket fixtures and while some teams are knocked out, semifinals are still in contention for others. A spot in the next round of the Jeff Crowe Cup is on the cards for Auckland University after Saturday's match. The team had little trouble overcoming rivals Ellerslie at Michaels Ave in the sev- enth round of compe- tition. Their semifinal hopes are alive for another week following the 10-wicket win and a final score of 103/0 to Ellerslie's 101. Uni will meet East Coast Bays in the final round with the victor still able to qualify if other results go in their favour. Grafton United also need to come away with a win this weekend to secure their play-off place. A home game at Vic- toria Park on Saturday helped the team keep their batting momen- tum, defeating Waita- kere City by 13 runs with a final score of 171 to 212/7. But it isn't enough for United to qualify out- right, so next week's match will be a crucial decider. Meanwhile, Corn- wall's hopes of reaching the second stages of competition were dashed by Papatoetoe on Saturday. The home team won by 20 runs after a rain- affected encounter at Papatoetoe Recreation Grounds. The final score -- Papatoetoe 193/9 to Cornwall's 147 -- means Cornwall will be playing for pride as opposed to points in upcoming matches. Eden Roskill suffered a similar fate with a hefty loss to East Coast Bays at Windsor Park. Despite putting early pressure on Bays the home team failed to deliver any spark, with only 48 overs being played each. East Coast Bays came away with 232/5 to Eden Roskill's 101, winning by 131 runs. Ramblers and Auckland United breathe down Northcote's neck By TREVOR ROWSE Mt Albert Ramblers and Auckland United prospered in a busy weekend's play in the Softball Auckland Fast- pitch Championship, with both moving closer to the top of the table after Ramblers defeated Northcote. Ramblers, taking advan- tage of having ace Australian pitcher Andrew Kirkpatrick over for the weekend, won three games including an 8-1 rout of championship leader Northcote. Six home runs peppered the side's three matches as Ramblers showed they are a definite prospect to regain their Auckland and national titles this season. Kirkpatrick allowed North- cote only one hit after shut- ting out Waitakere Bears 6-0 and local rival Eden-Roskill 11-2 on Saturday and also batted well with two home runs. Black Sox man Donny Hale also hit two home runs. But they were over- shadowed by United's Tony Niu who hit four home runs, two in each game, against Howick (5-0) and North Har- bour Roosters (6-1). United, the reigning cham- pion, and Ramblers are now one game behind Northcote. It seems that only a United win against the leader can tie up the minor championship -- there are no other real threats to the North Harbour side. Eden-Roskill worked hard to contain Northcote but went down 3-2 in a close finish. Eden could win against Roosters on Saturday at Ranui. United will play Bears at Fowlds Park in an important match on Saturday but Ramblers will not play this weekend. All women's sides will be playing mid-week catch-up matches. Practice pays off for a rising star in golf croquet Exclusive event: Golf croquet star Hamish McIntosh is heading to an invite-only tournament in Florida in February. Photo: JASON OXENHAM By HANNAH SPYKSMA A young golf croquet star is off to an exclusive invite-only tournament thanks to a Sparc grant for high perform- ance athletes. Hamish McIntosh, 21, placed third at the open-age world golf croquet champion- ships in London in July, as well as placing second in the British and Scottish opens in the same month. On the back of his success he is invited to compete at a prestigious tournament in Florida next month. Eight players from around the world are selected for the International Polo Club Invitational based on their results at the world cham- pionships. Sport and Recreation New Zealand has come to the party and awarded McIntosh a performance enhancement grant. It's really helpful for me especially because there's no prize money in golf croquet,'' the athlete says. The Sandringham resident returned to New Zealand from his OE late last year. He has come a long way from mowing the lawns at the Mt Albert croquet club. After watching a few games McIntosh was converted from being a groundskeeper to one of the top players in the country. His success really reflects his attitude towards prac- tice,'' coach, mentor, and New Zealand doubles partner Chris Clarke says. One of Hamish's great strengths is in his ability to talk to a wide range of people and take the best bits of advice and put them into practice.'' The recent university graduate has been playing for four seasons and is now a member of the Epsom/Remu- era Croquet Club. Auckland City takes top spot Sliding: Canterbury's Cole Peverley tackles Auckland's Adam Dickinson. Photos: SHANE WENZLICK By JEREMY RUANE Advantage: Right, Canterbury's Cole Peverley gets the edge over Auckland's David Mulligan. Concentration: Auckland's Adam McGeorge in action. The 2012 football crusade has started on a high for Auck- land City, who are once again topping the chart. The ASB Premiership leaders kicked off the year with a hard-earned 3-0 win over a strong Canterbury United side at Kiwitea St on Saturday. Russell Kamo and Cole Peverley both went close for the visitors before City fired their first shot in anger. After Luis Corrales hit the post in the 10th minute, City opened the scoring seven minutes later. Daniel Koprivcic -- impress- ive throughout -- was both architect and executioner, fashioning the opening before curling home a well-placed effort inside Adam Highfield's left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors continued to press for a goal, and Kamo was only denied by a tackle from Angel Berlanga which saw the defender come from the clouds to clear his lines. Darren White and Andrew Barton also went close, while Kamo forced a save from Jacob Spoonley in the 59th minute. Auckland promptly storm- ed downfield and doubled their lead, Koprivcic's slide- rule pass inviting Manel Exposito to make it 2-0. Emiliano Tade put the cherry on the cake two minutes from time with a thunderous 25-yarder after being played through by Kop- rivcic. The game was marred by its lone flashpoint in the 77th minute, which saw both Cor- rales and Peverley shown the red card by referee Peter O'Leary for their parts in an out-of-character incident. City's win was the first of three games they will play at Kiwitea St in eight days. This evening at 5.45pm they take on Amicale FC in their rescheduled OFC Champions League fixture. A home win will leave Auckland perfectly placed at the half-way mark in that competition. And from 2pm on January 22 they entertain Waikato FC to conclude a busy week for the club as they look to main- tain their three-point advan- tage at the top of the ASB Premiership.
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