Matangi Mustangs Second-Time Men’s Club Champions
Matangi Hillcrest Mustangs claimed their second Waikato Lacrosse Men’s Club Championship last night, after a 7 to 3 goal win against Hamilton Marist in the finals.
Mustangs President, Aaron Parker, commented after the game “As expected, it was hard! It was the final and those guys [Hamilton Marist] stepped up. Marist built their season up to the semis, they played really well in the semis and played well today. For us, we just had to get out and play.”
The Mustangs had played strongly all season and were favourites to lift the trophy for the second year running.
Hamilton Marist, newcomers to the Men’s Club league, had improved steadily during the season and came into the finals well prepared from previous encounters with the Mustangs. They had good possession during the early stages of the game, forcing the Mustangs to step up to secure the win.
Parker added “We had to respect the Marist team because they were going to turn up at finals and anyone could win. They focused their game on stopping down our offence, and that was the lowest score we have ever got in a game. …But our young guys, the talent, they just stepped up!”
In the play-off for third and fourth place in the League, Suburbs won their final playoff against Te Awamutu Marist Braves by 8 goals to 2.
Mustangs coach Kris Nebeskӯ commented on the season “Great to see how everything is growing to be honest. We have only got quite a small league, and it is good to see that it is starting to step up quite a bit. Some quite strong teams are coming through and I think, with a couple of years of development, we will be able to have some really, really close games. That’s what I am looking forward to.”
Does he see a difference between this year and last year in the Waikato Men’s League? “Yes definitely. I see clubs that could barely field a team now coming through with strong players and playing strong lacrosse and actually having good games.”
Waikato Lacrosse Men’s Club League Final Results
Matangi Hillcrest Mustangs 7 v 3 Hamilton Marist (1st v 2nd); Suburbs 8 v 2 Te Awamutu Marist (3rd v 4th)
Scoring leaders: Kyle Parker (Matangi Hillcrest) 23 goals; Jack Riggins (Suburbs) 20 goals; Daniel Smallwood (Hamilton Marist) 19 goals; William Chisholm (Te Awamutu Marist) 17 goals; Ben Cowen (Matangi Hillcrest) 16 goals; Alistair Hearmon (Hamilton Marist) 16 goals.