McNamara Cup round two underway with a bang

Manurewa Kidd Contracting host Ardmore Marist to open the second round of McNamara Cup action in the Counties Power Game of the Week after both clubs played out a superb round one contest that went down to the wire.

Ardmore Marist came out on top back in the March fixture but the game was on a knife-edge the whole way through.

Back at home at Mountfort Park, Manurewa will fancy their chances in a game that could guarantee either side a semi-final berth.

“We are looking forward to the battle ahead,” Manurewa coach Jeremy Clarke said. “Ardmore is a quality side so we will need to be at our best to match them.

“It will be an 80 minute challenge to see where we are at. They are top of the table with Karaka and been consistent all season.

“Will be a solid game.”

Patumahoe Troydon Patumahoe Hotel could go a long way to securing a semi-final berth themselves when they host old foes Pukekohe Mitre 10 Mega on Saturday.

With points from the first round carrying over, Patumahoe has a handy six-point advantage over their neighbours heading into the contest and a win would push that deficit out to beyond two wins, meaning Pukekohe would need to win their three remaining games to make the semi-finals.

A Pukekohe win on the other hand makes for a fascinating battle with five teams going into four semi-final spots and every game having a major impact.

Karaka has the week off as top qualifiers.

Bombay Super Freight visits Papakura Thirsty Liquor in the Plate section. The top three sides from the Plate standings are joined by the fifth-placed Cup team in the Plate semi-finals so there is a bit riding on the outcome of the game, particularly for Papakura.

“When it became apparent a few weeks back that we were not going to achieve top five, our focus since has simply been on and around the second round,” Papakura coach Kerry Petrie said.  “We have gained a lot of learning from the past few fixtures especially around the level of intensity, physicality and accuracy needed to genuinely compete with the leading sides. 

“We are excited and looking forward to the business end of the season.”

Onewhero Summit Homes are back home up the hill this week and taking on Weymouth in a repeat of last weekend’s fixture at Laurie Gibbons Reserve.

In Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserve action top-of-the-table Bombay Pokeno Bacon travels to Patumahoe Domain to face Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical.  Manurewa Wise Property Management hosts Ardmore Marist Barfoot & Thompson while Karaka hosts Pukekohe.

Ardmore Marist women host College Rifles at Bruce Pulman Park in the only women’s fixture this weekend.

The Sid Marshall Shield Championship, Massey Cup U21s and U85kg competitions take a break over the long weekend.