*Illness laden Tikipunga side puts up a good fight*
Tikipunga vs. Kerikeri, 30th June 2012 *Illness laden Tikipunga side puts up a good fight* By Arriane Christie Tikipunga’s changing their focus after going down 3-nil in a tough battle against Kerikeri in Kerikeri on Saturday. With the chances of winning the Northland Premier league now very slim, Tikipunga are focussing on achieving some cup success in the Federation One and Stafford Choat Cups. With many of the Tikipunga players hampered by sickness and injury, coach Clive Adams was happy with the way his team played, and said “the boys were trying hard. [I] couldn’t really ask for much more.” Tikipunga were still in the match with the score locked at nil-all going into half time. But Tikipunga’s Daniel Dunbar commented on his team’s energy levels in the second half saying “there were a few sore bodies out there.” It was a period of about fifteen minutes in the second half when Kerikeri secured their win. The first goal came 10 minutes into the second half after a defensive mix up by Tikipunga left Kerikeri’s attack wide open. The cross kick was easily finished by young Kerikeri player Jack Waller. Kerikeri’s second came not longer after off a corner kick. Kerikeri were left with a free man after some poor Tikipunga marking, and Kieren Nagel was able to slot the ball home. Kerikeri scored their third off a free kick. Kerikeri veteran Danny Spake curled the ball over Tikipunga’s defensive wall and it hit the crossbar before bouncing over the line. Adams said “the score line blew out and didn’t really reflect the [close] game. The teams were really even, we just didn’t quite get the rub of the green.” He once again had trouble picking a man of the match for his side, but awarded it to Daniel Hilton for a consistent performance. It is the first time Kerikeri have beaten Tikipunga in three seasons and the tough game reflected the ongoing rivalry between the two clubs. In other club results, Tikipunga’s reserve team travelled further north to Kaitaia, where they secured a great result. They held the top of the table team to a two-all draw. Next week Tikipunga play Glenfield at home in the first knock-out round of the Federation Cup.