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A vastly under-strength Kings United men’s side — missing several first-choice players — defied the odds with a win over the Albany Alligators.
Conditions were far from ideal for the Anzac round of the premier competition on Saturday.
In the Challenge Shield between challengers University Blue Whales and holders Taieri, the challengers came up with a win in a penalty shootout after the score was 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
The rules for the Challenge Shield, though, say the silverware only changes hands with a win in normal time.
The final match of the men’s draw featured a beleaguered Kings United missing nine players, against the Albany Alligators who had beaten the University Black Panthers on Friday night 6-2.
Kings got on the board early through Jason Dungey and dominated possession and territory in the first quarter.
Poor passing by the Alligators side deep in its own half continually put it under pressure but it managed to hold on not once but twice as Kings United turned up the pressure gauge.
Conditions saw players sliding like they were on water slides as ball handling proved difficult.
Albany hit the framework with its first attack of the game.
That was the Alligator’s only chance of the first half as the defensive end, led by Jakob Annison, kept the United lead to only a goal come half-time.
The third quarter territory was again dominated by Kings United, but it could not extend its advantage.
A magnificent second goal by Dungey seemed to get the Gators into gear and more assertive with the ball.
But despite that and extended time near the Kings goal, the Alligators could not bring it back on the scoresheet and Kings ran out a 2-0 winner.
In the women’s grade, Momona and the University Huskies went to a penalty shootout with the Huskies prevailing 2-1.
Kings United won 2-0 over the Varsity Stingrays with goals to Holly Riddick and Maria Mayerhofler.
In the final match of the evening, Taieri Tigers upset City Highlanders 1-0 thanks to a goal from Lily Bentall — a result very few would have predicted.
- Jack Ward