St. Patrick’s College, Wellington, has won both the National Secondary Schools Junior and Senior boys Fustal Championships at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington this afternoon. College Sport Media and Boys Schools Sports watched both finals.
A star turn by Liberato Cacace inspired St. Pats Town to a resounding 5-0 victory against Napier Boys’ High School.
The New Zealand Under-17 representative scored all five goals, two in the first-half and three in the second, as Town romped home in front of a large and boisterous group of supporters.
The first five minutes was cagey with both sides rarely threatening goal. Town’s goalie was forced into a diving kick save from a fierce Napier shot. The rebound flew to Cacace on the left wing who burst forward and opened Town’s account with an angled drive.
Cacace doubled Town’s advantage from a Napier turnover and it was 2-0 at the interval.
Napier’s best period was after the break where repeated raids were made on the Town goal. Resolute defense prevented any scoreboard damage for the locals.
Cacace netted a third goal to effectively settle the contest. Napier sacrificed their keeper and employed a fifth man, but were still unable to breach Town’s defense.
Cacace should have scored a fourth when he stole the ball at halfway with no defenders ahead. He was too casual and got dispossessed by a retriever. Frustrated Cacace atoned when he blasted in a free kick from the left side. It was a good day to be a left footer.
St. Pats Town edged Hamilton Boys’ High School in a pulsating final. With 90 seconds remaining Town was reduced to four players when Liam Coleman was red carded following his second reckless tackle.
Hamilton peppered the Town goal and with 16 seconds left Franco Rojas-Miranda had the chance to send the game to penalties when he trapped the ball with his left foot in front of an open goal. He nudged the ball despairingly wide of the target trigging wild celebrations by Town and their legion of fans immersed in the gripping lunchtime entertainment.
The first-half was an even tussle and threatened to become a stalemate until Gianni Di Leva swivelled past his marker and opened the scoring for Town after ten minutes.
Di Leva and Nathan Simes had fierce shots blocked by Hamilton’s keeper while Jordon Caie was denied by the Town stopper.
Campbell Brown’s left foot is notoriously potent and he levelled the scores moments before halftime with a thumping drive.
Town dominated the beginning of the second spell. Simes tapped in within 60 seconds and Town went close to extending the lead further on three separate occasions.
Hamilton looked to their superior height to trouble Town, but was guilty of conceding possession without a single touch in midfield too often. The goal keeper was merely throwing it to his opposite. When Brown was given some ball to work with he employed his lethal left foot again and tied the scores at two each.
Town’s Jackson Manuel won a free kick and he to boasts a fearsome left foot. A thunderous shot over the Hamilton defensive wall made it 3-2 to Town.
This was an excellent showcase for a sport growing at rapid speed.
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