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Bye bye Bay

Three Kings United 2, Bay Olympic 0
Keith Hay Park, June 24 2012

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32 Chatham Cup entrants became 16 this weekend and for Bay Olympic, their rotten run of tough draws, combined with their recent form slump, ultimately cost them their place in the competition.

The Northern Premier League leaders had to face their rivals, third equal Three Kings United in today’s Round 3 clash after having to work hard to dispatch second in the league East Coast Bays in Round 2 of the cup. Olympic had won every game they’d played this season until last weekend’s shock defeat to Onehunga Sports in the league and could obviously ill afford to play as poorly two weeks in a row.

They started well on this soggy afternoon and dominated first half possession. Three Kings on the other hand were happy to sit back and bide their time, letting Olympic come at them and trying to nick something on the counter attack. But despite their massive possession advantage, Olympic just didn’t look that dangerous in the final third and they squandered the numerous opportunities they created. This resulted in the two sides going into the break with the scoreboard still showing 0-0.

Just as the players walked off for their nice dry changing rooms, a brutal shower of rain soaked to the bone the hardy 100 or so of us poor souls who turned out to watch this thus far uninspiring contest, then had the admirable courtesy to stop just as the players emerged for the second half. Never let it be said that the football gods don’t do irony.

But as our reward for enduring the fixture to date, both sides seemed to pick the standard up somewhat after that drenching. There were chances at both ends as the two keepers were called into action to produce some top class saves. However it was Three Kings that looked more confident in front of their opposition’s net and after a sustained period of pressure that saw a couple of shots cleared off the line by desperate Bay Olympic defenders, a Three Kings chip from outside the box finally broke the deadlock with about 15 minutes of the game remaining.

Bay Olympic spent the last part of the fixture swarming forward. They nearly managed a carbon copy of their opponents’ goal, but instead it ricocheted off the post and then when they were awarded a late corner, the Bay goalkeeper came forward to aid the attack only to watch helplessly as a Three Kings counter attack barrelled down the other end, resulting in an easy tap in to an open net.

A sad end to a good side. It would have been nice to see the best team in the Northern League progress to the quarter finals so we could have compared them to the best of the Central and Southern leagues. But that’s cup football for you and it wasn’t to be. If it’s any consolation, the Central League leaders Wairarapa United were also knocked out this weekend so at least when we go national, we’ll be comparing apples with apples as much as possible. But first, we’ll have to see what other surprises await us in the round of 16!

Categories: NZ Chatham Cup

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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