Gold medal winners: Napier City Rovers over 45s in Whanganui at the weekend
Napier City Rovers were centre stage at Whanganui Masters Games last weekend, emerging with gold and silver medals at the biennial event.
Rovers entered two senior teams into the competition this year. The over 45s led by dynamic duo Jason Curtis and Terry O’Neill won gold, with the over 35s steered by former All White Perry Cotton claiming silver.
In the over 45s final Graham Essel ensured the Blues were 1-0 up at half-time, and Jason Bishop popped up five minutes into the second half to double the lead, with the game ending 2-1 and the Blues crowned champions of their group.
The over 35s semi-final was a fast-paced competitive affair with Rovers coming out top in a 2-1 win.
David Gearey opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Dean Johnson was taken down inside the box.
Mike Daley scored a stunner when he took a strike just inside the box and drove the ball hard into the bottom corner of the net to finish the game off and secure their place in the final.
But, unfortunately the 35s had to settle for silver after their first defeat of the competition in the ultimate round against Wellingtons’ Capital Hearts.
Acting chairman Phil Doran says it’s a fantastic achievement for the club.
“To go there and win first and second place in their respective groups is brilliant for the club,” says Doran.
“There was teams from all over New Zealand there, and Napier City Rovers put on a great display.
“We have a reputation as being a benchmark club in New Zealand, and we certainly lived up to that at the weekend.
“A huge effort from a great bunch of guys.”