Meadowbank still in the hunt

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Meadowbank United is still on track to claim its first South Canterbury men’s football title following a comprehensive 7-4 win over Timaru City at the Oamaru Showgrounds on Saturday.
The home side’s win keeps it in the race for the title. Northern Hearts, who thrashed Timaru Boys’ High School A, are the only side that can potentially spoil Meadowbank’s stellar season.
Meadowbank has a superior goal difference over Hearts, who will again play Timaru Boys’ in Timaru on Saturday.
West End A, which beat Pleasant Point 2-1, is out of the race on goal difference and will play Hearts next week.
If Hearts drop a game against either of those two sides, Meadowbank will win its first South Canterbury championship after 10 years of trying.
Hearts have games in hand over Meadowbank due to Chatham Cup fixtures played earlier this season.
Meadowbank went into halftime against Timaru City with a 4-3 lead thanks to strikes from Jacob Willetts, Daniel Brokenshire, Sullivan Martin and Caleb Roberts.
Martin extended Meadowbank’s lead in the second spell with another two goals to complete his hat-trick, and Paul Holmes added another with only a handful of minutes remaining to put the result well beyond doubt.
Meadowbank coach Simon Willetts was “absolutely rapt” with his side’s performance, but was frustrated to leak four goals to the opposition.
“I was definitely disappointed about conceding four goals. If Hearts win their next two games, it will come down to goal difference. At this stage, we are only four goals ahead of them.”
He said the weekend’s results had impacted on Meadowbank’s title chances.
“I think it’s changed our outlook. We were quite positive before, but not quite so much now.”
In the second division, Meadowbank’s reserves were beaten 5-3 by Timaru City.
Dan Drury, Kelvin Cunningham and Karl Burke all netted goals for Meadowbank, which plays West End reserves in Timaru on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Meadowbank women’s team is one step closer to winning its division after securing a narrow 1-0 win over Northern Hearts Red through a Caitlan Lee goal.
Caretaker coach Willetts said the top four sides in the women’s top division _ Meadowbank, Northern Hearts Red, Pleasant Point and Mountainview High School –¬†were “quite close”, but he was confident Meadowbank had the ability to march on and claim the title.
“It’s still up in the air. They definitely have the ability to win it. They played really well on Sunday so I will be really happy if they pull it out of the bag.”
The Meadowbank women play Mountainview at the Oamaru Showgrounds on Sunday.