Teams from Auckland, Taupo, Hamilton, Rotorua and Ngongataha enjoyed brilliant Bay of Plenty weather, and competitive football, at Waipuna Football Club’s annual tenth grade tournament on Sunday.
The visitors were joined by local clubs Tauranga City, Papamoa, and Otumoetai, as well as the hosts for the Waipuna Park tournament, sponsored by Tracey King of First National Real Estate.
Auckland’s Bay Olympic are the tournament champions, taking out the title in a dramatic final over fellow Aucklanders Three Kings, but all teams were able to play competitive matches at their own level of ability, says club president Ben Shirley.
“We decided to open the tournament up to all tenth grade divisions – including girls’ teams.
“Our experience is that a lot of the time tournaments are just put on for the top level, so we got a really good response by opening it up to other divisions.”
The result was a day of competitive football for all players, and many dramatic match outcomes.
“There were four penalty shootouts in the semifinals and finals. It was nail-biting stuff. So the teams were well-matched.
“The looks on the kids’ faces were just amazing.”
Accolades didn’t just come the way of the winners though, says Ben. “We had about 40 fair play awards - each game had a fair play award.”
Cup champion: Bay Olympic, runner up - Three Kings.
Plate champion: Tauranga City colts, runner up - Taupo Tornados.
Bowl champion: Waipuna Titans, runner up - Papamoa Kahawai.
Shield champion: Ngongotaha Scorpions, runner up - Tauranga City Taniwhas.