Thrilling finale for cup

AFF Pre-Season Cup, Boys Winners, Onehunga Sports, McLennan Park, Papakura, Auckland, New Zealand. Sunday 26th March 2017. Photo: David Joseph / www.phototek.nz

The second edition of the Auckland Football Federation Pre Season Cup wrapped up on Sunday with Onehunga Sports taking out the boy’s competition, while Ellerslie topped the girl’s standings.

Onehunga, coached by Leigh Kenyon, booked their spot in the final defeating Eastern Suburbs 1-0 and found their match in the final against Western Springs with the result being decided on penalty kicks.

Tournament MVP Bradley Wilson gave Western Springs the perfect start, calmly slotting past Sports’ goalkeeper after Otto Ingham played a delightful ball through for the speedster to run onto.

Jake Moosebally levelled for Kenyon’s side in the second half to send the final into a penalty shoot-out, which Onehunga went on to win 4-3.

Onehunga goalkeeper Alex Paulsen made some outstanding saves in the shootout and was deservedly rewarded with the Golden Gloves award while fellow Onehunga player Ryan Verney claimed the Golden Boot.

Tournament director Ben Hill is pleased with how the tournament unfolded and says feedback has been imformative.

“The football on display across all three weekends was of a fantastic standard,” he says.

“It was an enthralling atmosphere for all involved and the feedback we have received so far from participating clubs has been overall, very positive.

“The ongoing support from the Youth Football Development Trust has helped considerably in the running of this year’s event and Papakura City have been brilliant hosts, their fields and facilities have been pristine throughout the entire tournament.”

Tournament MVP – Bradley Wilson with YFDT Chair, Greg Fahey

In the firl’s section, Ellerslie ran away with the title going unbeaten and the girl’s runners up were Eastern Suburbs

A separate awards event to present the girls competition medals and individual awards is to be confirmed due to the rescheduling of the final weekend unfortunately coinciding with pre-arranged activities resulting in several teams defaulting their matches on Sunday.

“To have no girls games on the final week was disappointing, but the weather on week three left us with no option to reschedule to this weekend, so it is an unfortunate, but understandable situation,” says Hill

“The feedback on the pilot girls competition has been positive overall, and we will review internally to determine the best way to improve both the girls section, and the tournament overall for next year.”