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Player of the day washes the strip

WHAT do you get for scoring one of the more memorable goals of the season for Wainui Demons in an Eastern League Division 1 football victory?

You get to take home the strip and you get to buy the boys the after-match beers.

Tough, but that’s the unwritten rule for “player of the day” and that’s what police sergeant Steve “Smudge” Sutherland had to accept after their 5-2 win against Gisborne Boys’ High School (1) on Saturday.

For the Demons, the player-of-the-day “honour” goes to someone who performs anything from the sublime to the ridiculous, as long as it’s memorable.

In Sutherland’s case, it was for a goal that put Wainui up 3-2 early in the second spell and provided the impetus for them to go on to notch up their second victory.

Playing in his first game of the season, Sutherland, who arrived only 10 minutes from halftime, let fly with a hopeful hoof over the top from way inside his half.

Boys’ High keeper Monty Radburn, who last week pulled off probably the save of the season, got caught in no-man’s land, the ball bouncing over his head and into the net.

Earlier, Boys’ High rallied from 2-0 down to go into halftime level at 2-2.

Impressive first-half stintJay Papworth nodded in Wainui’s opening goal and, in an impressive first-half stint up front, had an assist in their second scored by fellow striker Ben Inder.

Hamish Robinson capped a strong game by scoring the students’ first goal. He then won a penalty, which central midfielder David Clark converted, albeit on the second attempt.

Sutherland’s “wonder” strike broke the deadlock and Demons newbie Tim Power increased the lead with a goal that Wainui keeper Mark Harris described as “beautiful”.

The speedy Inder, who caused Boys’ High problems all day, completed the scoring.

Harris said “the boys were pumped” after the win but he also gave credit to the students.

“They didn’t lie down. They like to contest the ball and were pretty fair and honest. They were gutted, as most teams would be . . . it just wasn’t their day.”

Boys’ High coach Joel Robinson was “a bit disappointed” with his side’s second-half showing but praised the Demons’ performance, in particular that of Inder.

“We failed to finish a couple of chances; they finished their chances.”

It was a match he went into thinking they had a great chance of winning.

“That didn’t happen. Now we have to regroup for three hard games coming up.”

Hamish Robinson, midfielder Noy Paul and Michael Webb were the best on the day for Boys’ High, he said.

Gisborne United player-coach Stu Cranswick scored both goals in a 2-0 win against Wainui Sharks that closed the gap to top-of-the-table Thistle Massive to two points.

United shoots aheadHalf an hour in, Cranswick put United ahead with a shot from just outside the penalty area. He doubled his account 10 minutes from time with a header from a cross from the right.

“I think it was the best game we’ve had all season,” Cranswick said.

“It was a fair score. They had a few chances early on and we had chances here and there.”

Wingers Hano Vorster and Josh Baty had impressive games and, as the score suggested, the defence of Jonathan Purcell, Jimmy Holden and Andy McIntosh was waterproof.

Riverina gave Carpet Court Thistle an early scare before going down 5-1 on Childers Road Reserve’s main ground.

At an average player age of 45, 2015 Division 2 champions Riverina have plenty of experience but not quite the 90-minute legs of their glory days.

They started well, Kaleb Jacobs putting them ahead before the 15-minute mark.

Thistle responded with a hat-trick to David Ure and a double from Olly Tilley.

Thistle coach Ronnie Young said the star of their performance, however, was goalkeeper Raymond Rickard.

“He saved at least five on-target shots, which I think had Riverina wondering what they had to do to score.”

Gisborne Bohemians beat bottom-of-the-table United seconds 2-0 through goals from Eru Rawiri and Caleb Craig.