Tupapa’s Oscar Wichman tussles for possession with Nikao Sokattak’s Nuku Mokoroa. CIFA MEDIA/22112704
Tupapa Maraerenga emerged on top in a fierce battle against Nikao Sokattak for the Round Cup trophy at CIFA Complex on Saturday.
The fight for the premiership title left CIFA ground
shaking as these two teams were on each other’s necks in the first 45 minutes
of the game, going back and forth trying to get the lead in the match.
The intensity grew in the second half after they
finished the opening spell locked at nil-all. Tupapa Maraerenga forced their
way through Nikao Sokattak, giving them no chances to score. They gained more
ground and threatened Nikao’s goalkeeper Tahiri Elikana, who was kept busy
between the sticks.
Gelling well with their youth, Tupapa’s Grover Harmon
and youngster Shane Tuteru assisted their up and coming with many through balls
from the midfield area giving them a lot of ground to work with.
Daniel Taokia continued his fairy tale run with yet
another goal to put them ahead 1-0 within the first 15 minutes of their second
half giving them the confidence booster they needed.
Nikao Sokattak’s Toru Mateariki and Nuku Mokoroa had
many chances to level the score but couldn’t seem to get their execution right,
with Tupapa’s Ronnie Sokai standing tall in defence. Nikao became frustrated on
attacking ends, making it harder for them to even out the playing fields.
Tupapa Maraerenga seemed not content with their
slender lead and they doubled their advantage through youngster Ngametua
Tuakana to win 2-0, claiming the Round Cup trophy.
On Friday, Avatiu hosted Matavera and won 1-0, while Titikaveka thumped Puaikura 8-0.
In the Islander senior women’s division, Tupapa
Maraerenga’s Ladies in Black gave no chances to Nikao Sokattak scoring their
first goal within two minutes of the match. Tupapa won the match 3-0.
On Thursday, Avatiu’s golden girls fell to Matavera’s
maroon ladies 1-0, while Round Cup winners Puaikura went down to Titikaveka on