The contenders for this year’s Marlborough Football men’s Knockout Cup have been whittled down to a quartet of semifinalists after Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Rangers AFC, Central Pirates, Blenheim Valley MBC and Call Care Trojans will meet in the round of four, with an eye on the final prize of the local club season.
Rangers downed fellow division one side Central Pirates 6-1, Pirates took care of Picton Crow Tavern Masters 8-3, Call Care Trojans downed Rangers Masters by the same score and Blenheim Valley Marlborough Boys’ College beat BV Cobras 2-0.
The latter game was something of an upset, given Cobras had taken out the second round of pool play and were in good form.
However it was the students who took this “game of two halves” by the scruff of the neck at A and P Park. After a first half dominated by Cobras, which ended scoreless, MBC took the lead after 12 minutes of the second spell through skilful striker Shinji Mikame who notched a superb individual effort.
Their second came in the final 10 minutes, courtesy of Tana Connor-McClean who clinically converted a shooting chance at the left post.
The longer the match went on the more dangerous MBC looked, with replacement Cameron Miller and Connor-McClean close to increasing their lead in the latter stages.
Keeper Dan Diamond was impressive for MBC, along with the Knobben siblings, Joe and Sid, midfielder Ryan Palmer, winger Patrick Moran, and the industrious Ben Ivory-McCullum.
Jack Procter stood out for Cobras, along with central defender Hayden Giles, Take Thu, James Mailaman and Jackson Simmons.
The Rangers v Wolves game, originally scheduled for A and P Park was shifted to Athletic Park.
Rangers took the lead in the first 20 minutes through a well-worked Sean Crawford goal, but allowed Wolves back in the game when Harry Boyce equalized just before half time with a well-struck goal from outside the box.
Rangers started the second half well and went ahead with a Martin Delgado goal. Now in full control, they restricted Wolves to a couple of half chances, adding four more to their tally to finish the game well on top.
Rangers’ scorers were Adam Rose, 2, Connor Endersby, Crawford, Delgado and Liam Forman.
Wolves’ best were Aaron Vercoe, Richie Marsden and Paddy Stephens.
Earlier, at A and P Park, Trojans also produced a second half scoring spree. They led Rangers Masters 2-1 at the break then added six more in the final 45, allowing Masters a couple of their own.
Brayden Livingstone scored a hat-trick for Trojans, Gustavo Cruz and Blair Hantz both scored a brace while the other was an own goal. Craig Forman scored two for Rangers, the other from Wolfie Waechter.
The final game was staged at Picton’s Endeavour Park. The home side scored first and trailed just 3-2 at the 60 minute mark before running out of steam as Pirates rattled in five goals in the final half an hour. Their scorers were Nick Rayner, 2, John Porter, 2, Mike Jay, Chris Turkington, Jono Masters and Shane Evans.
Iain Tyler scored twice for Picton while Brad Lewis bagged the other.
Knockout Cup results:
Rangers AFC 6 Central Wolves 1; Blenheim Valley MBC 2 BV Cobras 0; Central Pirates 8 Picton Crow Tavern Masters 3; Call Care Trojans 8 Rangers Masters 3.
In the Nelson Women’s first division match played at Nelson’s Jubilee Park Blenheim Valley Bullets lost 4-0 to Richmond Foxes.
In an exciting free-flowing game, with opportunities at both ends, Foxes led 2-0 at halftime, through goals to Casey Ogilvie and Maryann Cant.
In the second half, BV keeper Lane made a number of decisive saves, earning her the player of the day award.
Foxes’ third goal came after a sprawling save by Lane, Paige Ferguson netting the rebound, then another strong attack from the home side was rewarded shortly after with a second goal to Ogilvie.
Destiny Aires looked strong on the wing for BV, and Erin Mustey and Tessa Hyland made notable contributions.