For the fifth time in six seasons Bombay Gough Cat are the McNamara Cup champions after they beat Ardmore Marist South Auckland Motors 33-18 in the championship decider at Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday.
It was Ardmore Marist that went into the game as favourites after they lifted the trophy 12 months ago and topped the round robin in 2019.
But Bombay saved their best for the biggest occasion – a stage on which the nucleus of this side has succeeded before – and they claimed a memorable victory.
“We are just ecstatic about how we pulled it off,” Bombay coach Jeff Marr said. “A great amount of teamwork went into that win on Saturday and we are absolutely stoked.
“When we lost to them in the second round we felt it was a bit of an inflated score line. We made enough running in the game but were missing a few key personnel and that hurt us.
Going into this game we had a bit of an advantage being underdogs and there was a lot of detail put into looking at their attack and how they defend.
“We had a pretty awesome feeling going into this last week and knew we were up for something pretty special.”
Marr thought his whole squad contributed to the win but paid special praise of his forward pack and first-five Ki Anufe.
“Everyone contributed massively but our scrum really fronted and that has been Ardmore’s strength through the whole season and when we started taking that away from them it made it hard for them.
“I thought Ki Anufe had a pretty special game and capped it off by scoring a try that only Ki could score probably.”
Ardmore Marist got some consolation as their Premier 2 side ran out 62-12 winners over Patumahoe Dave Redshaw Electrical in the Bob Chandler Memorial final. The win completes a phenomenal season for Ardmore Marist, who went through the entire year undefeated.
Maramarua claimed a thrilling 23-18 win over Te Kauwhata in the Sid Marshall Shield Premier 3 final to send their supporters into raptures.
They had to do it the hard way – sneaking by Ardmore Marist in the semi-finals before going on to beat the top qualifiers in the final game.
Manurewa Carter’s Tyre Service wrapped up the Massey Cup U21 championship with a 27-13 win over Patumahoe Albycon Ltd in the final. Manurewa had enjoyed a dominant campaign and while Patumahoe put up a good fight in the final, the result never looked in danger.
The Drury Women produced a strong performance in the Development Women’s 15 championship decider but ultimately went down to Grammar TEC 17-10.
Papakura, Pukekohe and Waiuku all picked up wins in the Under 85kg grade. Finals for that grade begin in a couple of weeks.