Spectators fill John Kerkhof Park for finals day

Spectators fill John Kerkhof Park for finals day

Hundreds of Waikato football supporters enjoyed a day of cup final atmosphere as Cambridge successfully hosted WaiBOP Football’s Finals Day at John Kerkhof Park.

With the help of a sunny day, an estimated 800 spectators came through the gates for the two matches – the finals of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup and Plate.

Holders Melville United Old Boys scored three goals in a ten-minute spell – and later missed two penalties – to take the plate against an injury-ravaged Huntly Thistle to take the Plate final.

That was the warm-up to the main game which turned into a tense affair with Northern United, a club in its first year of operation, beating Te Awamutu B, a club that was founded 103 years ago.

United, coached by former All White Mike Groom, won 1-0 with a late goal saving the need of extra time.

The crowds for the finals were the largest for many years, confirming Cambridge’s role as a popular venue for regional football events.

Between the matches, Cambridge FC took the opportunity to officially open their new $200,000 changing room facilities after a fundraising and building project that took more than five years to complete.

Chairman Steve Thomas told guests the club had built the much-needed new facilities with the help of many supporters – some of whom had helped the club find the money and others whose skills and efforts had enabled the building to be finished.

He said the success of the club today had been made possible by past generations of volunteers who had built it, and he hoped the new facilities would similarly benefit those generations who use them in the future.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the club was to be commended for the way it had met the challenge of building facilities that would be of huge benefit for the Cambridge community.

Meanwhile, Cambridge wrapped up their Loaded WaiBOP Premiership season with a 0-0 draw against Tauranga Boys’ College.

The result leaves Cambridge in second place on the table but they can be overhauled if Matamata Swifts beat champions Ngongotaha in their last game of the season.

Photo: Mayor Jim Mylchreest and chairman Steve Thomas officially open the club's new changing rooms. Photo courtesy of Michael Jeans.

The souvenir match programme for the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup and Plate finals can be downloaded free here:

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Date Added: Saturday, 10th September 2016
Link: Preview: Soccer Shop Waikato Cup and Plate