Finals day comes to Cambridge

Hundreds of Waikato football fans are expected at Cambridge this Saturday for the finals of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup and Plate competitions.

The Plate, which kicks off at noon, sees Waihi – beaten finalists in 2013 – take on Waikato Unicol.

The Cup Final, starting at 2.45pm, brings together Cambridge and Otorohanga, both from the Waikato B division.

Cambridge FC hosted last year’s finals day, drawing more than 800 visitors for the two games, and are expecting a large crowd again this year.

Soccer Shop Waikato Cup

Otorohanga last reached the final of the cup in 2010 when the club’s Waikato Division D side lost in extra time to Hamilton Wanderers, a team ranked three divisions higher.

Otorohanga will hope for better fortune this year after successfully playing through the early rounds.

Otorohanga have beaten Claudelands Rovers (9-0), Melville United (3-0), Ngaruawahia United A (4-0) and Melville United A (1-0).

Striker Trent Maguire has scored eight of Otorohanga’s cup goals, achieving the rare feat of finding the net in every round.

Cambridge’s cup run has seen the club overcome Claudelands Rovers Newbies (4-1), Te Awamutu B (2-1), Hamilton Wanderers Classics (6-1) and Melville United B (2-1).

Cambridge’s leading scorer this year is striker Peter Buesnel with 30 league and cup goals. He’s looking for cup success this year after playing for beaten finalists Te Awamutu last year.

Soccer Shop Waikato Plate

Waihi last reached the final of the Plate in 2013 when Cambridge won with two late goals in the dying minutes of the match.

This year, Waihi have reached the final with wins against West Hamilton United (2-0), Cambridge D2 (6-0), Matamata Swifts A (3-1) and Hamilton North (7-3).

Striker Richard James has scored 12 goals in this year’s Plate, finding the net in every round – a feat he also achieved in the team’s path to the final in 2013.

Waikato Unicol have an excellent record in the Waikato Plate, with their sides having won the silverware in 2014, 2010 and 2009.

To reach Finals Day, Unicol have beaten Melville United Knights (7-3), Putaruru Rangers (2-1) and Claudelands Rovers C1 (4-2).

Henry Leech and Bryn Davies have each scored four goals on the way to the final.