Cup holders knocked out by rivals

06/08/2013 20:48

Tikipunga vs. Ranui Swanson, Federation One Cup, 3rd August 2013

Cup holders knocked out by rivals

By Arriane Christie

Last year’s Federation One Cup champions, Tikipunga, have been knocked out of the Cup in the quarter finals by new rivals Ranui Swanson. The visitors beat the home side 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals.

Tikipunga and Ranui Swanson have become unlikely rivals in the last year since the Northland club has drawn the Auckland side in two Federation One Cup games and a Chatham Cup match. With one win each so far, Ranui Swanson tipped the ledger in their favour with Saturday’s victory.

The game was very evenly matched with both sides desperate to move on to the Cup semi-finals, but it was Ranui Swanson who scored first not long before half time thanks to a break by Adrian Peihopa.

Two early goals in the second half by Peihopa and Jonathan Nunez put the visitors three ahead, but instead of getting their heads down, Tikipunga stepped up the intensity. They played out the second half with most of the possession, clawing back two thanks to Steve Crowley. It wasn’t enough.

Tikipunga player/coach Daniel Dunbar was impressed with his team’s massive effort saying “you put in that much effort; normally you would win a game.” “The last 25 minutes was the best we’ve played all year.”

While being gutted at the result, Dunbar was proud of his team and hopes to keep the focus going into the final rounds of the Stafford Choat Cup. They face Kaitaia in the quarterfinals on the 24th August.

In the three times the teams have played each other, the score has been 3-2. The sides appreciate the even matches and are already talking of organising a pre-season game in 2014.