Hosts NBHS to take on HBHS in Super 8 football playoffs
Could a second consecutive powercut work in hosts Napier Boys' High School's favour during today's final day of the Super 8 football tournament?
NBHS manager Grant Bundle admitted there is unlikely to be another power cut like yesterday's 95 minute one which allowed more than 450 NBHS students to support the hosts when they beat Gisborne Boys' High School 7-6 in a sudden death penalty shoot-out after the score was 2-all at the end of regulation time.
"But I'm confident the home ground will work in our favour," Bundle said as he pondered the hosts 9am play off for fifth against Hastings Boys' High School today.
"We're good to go and the home crowd will lift us. With the excellent weather we've had our amazing pitches have allowed the best quality football to be played," Bundle explained.
On Monday his troops drew 0-all with New Plymouth Boys' High School and lost 3-2 to Palmerston North Boys' High School. Before their clash against Gisborne yesterday NBHS beat Rotorua Boys' High School 5-4.
Bundle said midfielder Baylee Foote (pictured above) and Napier City Rovers Central League midfielder-centre back Isaac Milley have been prominent for the hosts.
"We're also lucky to have a keeper of Oscar's ability," Bundle added referring to Rovers and Hawke's Bay United keeper Oscar Mason.
While Hastings Boys' High School beat NBHS 3-1 in their only previous clash this season coach Grant Hastings said his lads know that result won't mean anything today.
"Tournament football is totally different. It only takes an ounce of luck to turn a game and it also comes down to how we all use that little bit of gas we have in our tanks."
His team will miss the services of Havelock North Wanderers midfielder Alexander Eaglestone who collected a foot injury which is expected to sideline him for six weeks.
Hastings lost 1-0 to Hamilton Boys' High School and 2-0 to Tauranga Boys' College on Monday. Yesterday Hastings drew 3-all with Gisborne Boys' High School and beat Rotorua Boys' High School 3-1 in a penalty shoot out after the score was 2-all at the end of regulation time.
Against Rotorua Hastings used reserve keeper Joshua Fairbrother for most of the game. But with a minute remaining Fairbrother was moved to centre back and replaced in goal by regular keeper, Year 11 student Jack Keith.
He saved three of his four penalties and got a hand to the one he couldn't save. Keith is playing at his first tournament.
Striker Jarvis Alatise has been outstanding for Hastings.
Today's final will see hot favourites Tauranga Boys College take on defending champions New Plymouth Boys'High School from 10.30am. Tauranga Boys' College beat Palmerston North Boys' High School 5-1 in their semifinal and earlier in the tournament handed Rotorua Boys' High School an 18-1 drubbing.
Today's 9am playoff for third will see Hamilton Boys' High School play Palmerston North Boys' High School and the 9am playoff for seventh will see Gisborne Boys' High School clash with Rotorua from 9am.