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A bit of dash in Vintage win

FOOTBALL.

Thistle Vintage clinched football’s Eastern League 2 title with enough panache to live up to their name.

They beat a plucky Gisborne Pro Roofing Bohemians side 6-2 at Childers Road Reserve on Saturday.

Draggnett Thistle Vintage finished the league with 43 points, one point more than runners-up Coates Associates Wainui Demons.

The Demons, playing at Wainui at the same time, made sure that any slip-up by Vintage would be punished. They beat Smash Palace Shockers 6-0, with a hat-trick by striker Mike Morrissey the scoring highlight.

But Vintage weren’t about to let the title slip through their fingers. They led 4-0 at halftime and from then on, although the second-half scoring was even, victory was never in doubt.

Leftback Jared Owen opened the scoring in the 20th minute, a Bohemians own goal from a Geoff Griffin free-kick in the 25th made it 2-0, and 15-year-old Cory Thomson’s cross-cum-shot from the left wing took a wicked deflection in the 38th to make it 3-0.

In the 42nd minute, midfielder Neil Hansen followed up after centreback Brendan South blocked his shot and buried the rebound . . . 4-0.

Five minutes after the break, Grant Thomson fed a galloping Shaun Leeper, whose cross found Dave Raggett beyond the far post, and he lashed it home.

Bohemians striker Vishal Singh, who normally plays at the back, had scored one goal this season before the weekend. On Saturday, he could have had a hat-trick. In the 55th minute, he beat Vintage second-half keeper Sam Dalcom to the ball and stabbed it into the net . . . 5-1.

Singh almost scored again nine minutes later but Dalcom tipped his shot past the post.

Centreback Dave Sluter diverted Raggett’s header from a right-wing corner to put Vintage 6-1 up.

Singh gave the Bohs the last word on the scoresheet when he chased down Dylan Goldsmith’s huge goal-kick and placed it past the keeper.

Thistle were without playmaker Dave Watson for most of the match after he went over an ankle and had to leave the field. Jared Faber also had to go off with an ankle injury, although his was late in the game.

Vintage weren’t carrying any passengers, but those to stand out on a good day were strikers Leeper, Matt Feisst, Phill Gill and Cory Thomson, midfielders Jared Faber, Hansen, Jason Scott and Raggett, and defenders Toby Pickering, Sluter and Jason Burgess.

For Bohemians, strikers Nathan Trowell and Singh, midfielders Jacob Larby and Mauro Negri, and defenders Tim Waehling, Bray Kutia, Goldsmith and South stood out.

The match was well controlled by referee Kevin Shepherd.

At Wainui, Morrissey’s hat-trick for Demons was made up of a header and two shots.

Others to stand out for Wainui were right midfielder Mana Taumaunu, leftback Mitch (Tom) McFarlane and central midfielder Matt Tong.

Ollie Suttor put in a good shift at rightback so, as he was the only regular starter who hadn’t scored a goal this season, he was put up front for the last 15 minutes. Shockers held him at bay.

Over after-match drinks, the Demons’ season awards were handed out.

Centreback Michael Ferguson was named player of the year and utility player Manaaki Terekia was named most consistent.

DIVISION 2 CHAMPIONS: Thistle Vintage clinched the Eastern League 2 title when they beat GPR Bohemians on Saturday. Vintage are, back (from left): Jason Burgess, Phil Gill, Geoff Griffin, Toby Pickering, Dave Watson, Sam Dalcom, Dave Raggett, Dan Murphy, Jared Faber, Roger Faber and Charlie Kapene. Front: Dave Sluter, Jason Scott, Neil Hansen, Matt Feisst, Shaun Leeper, Jared Owen, Cory Thomson and Grant Thomson. Picture by Paul Rickard