Hamilton Wanderers 4, Three Kings United 0
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton, August 15 2015
It might be hard to believe but I was always going to go to Wanderers vs Three Kings yesterday. My schedule was planned out weeks ago as I tried to make sure that before the end of the season I could get to all the places I either wanted or had promised to go. One of the places at the top of my list was Porritt Stadium, where I haven’t seen a game of football for a few years and I haven’t seen a game of NRFL since… ever! This was a crime that had to be redressed. But little did I know, when I planned out my August, that there would never be a more interesting time than this week to check out Three Kings United…
Everyone reading this is probably well aware of what happened but in case there is anyone who isn’t, Three Kings were punished during the week for fielding Tom Konusi in their first nine games by having all those results amended to 3-0 losses and the points awarded to the teams they had played in those earlier rounds. They had already had one result overturned for the game where the mistake was first picked up against Wanderers back in May. This latest punishment was the result of a further appeal on behalf of the other teams Three Kings had played up until that point.
The crime was arguably a relatively minor administrative error – the player was inadvertently still registered with his ASB Premiership franchise. A victimless crime really. The punishment is harsh for what was, in the grand scheme of things, a mistake of the magnitude of one typo in a 5,000 word essay. But once the league had changed the result of one game, there can surely be no argument that they had no choice but to do it for all the other games featuring the player in question before the error was corrected.
This decision sent tsunami sized ripples throughout the rest of the league – the Fountain City in particular! Hamilton Wanderers went from six points behind league leaders Eastern Suburbs and still challenging for the title to nine points behind and realistically only fighting for second. Meanwhile their hated crosstown rivals Melville went from almost certain relegation and searching for that miracle I wrote about last week, to finding their miracle and themselves four points clear of the drop! Perversely, they desperately needed their fiercest rivals to give them a hand up this week by beating their new nemesis in their battle for survival.
What this whole scenario actually does, is it achieves the extraordinary feat of putting paid once and for all to one of the world’s oldest proverbs (dating back to the 4th century BC) – that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.
Needless to say all this made yesterday interesting on a number of levels! Not least of which was the opportunity to observe a side who had just suffered a massive setback and see how they would deal with it. This made Three Kings United a daunting prospect for any team facing them first up. Wanderers rose to the challenge nicely, however, and despite missing key players in Alexi Varela, Cory Mitchell and Michael Built, they dispatched their opponents reasonably effectively courtesy of goals to Jama Boss, Mark Jones, Federico Marquez and Bailey Webster in that order.
I could Describe the goals to you, but bollocks to that when you can see them for yourself!
Wanderers dominated the game for the most part and even though there were opportunities at both ends particularly in the first half, it was the home side that made the most of the chances they created. On another day it could have been even at the break but it wasn’t 3KU’s afternoon just like it hadn’t been their week and the game was effectively over before the oranges had been touched.
With that, the status quo remains! Eastern Suburbs are still nine points clear with five games to play – one in hand over Wanderers in second. Melville, meanwhile, are still four points clear of the drop in a relegation scrap that at this rate could well be decided in their penultimate game of the season against… guess who? Hamilton Wanderers.
Categories: NZ Northern Men's Premier
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.