Western Springs up as champions

Western Springs are the Lotto NRFL First Division champions after a comfortable 3-0 win over Hibiscus Coast before a packed Seddon Park today.

Springs didn’t make the best of starts against a game Hibiscus Coast but once Adam Dickinson opened the scoring the title party was not going to be spoiled. Squandered opportunities by George Debenham and Dickinson had some Springs’ supporters squirming in their seats but they soon made up for their misses.

The pair combined as Debenham added the second after Dickinson set him free one on one with the goalkeeper and substitute Oscar Browne completed the win with a late third.

With North Shore United edging Manukau City 1-0 at Allen Hill Stadium Springs lifted the title for the second time in four years and can now look forward to a return to the Lotto NRFL Premier Division at the first time of asking following last season’s relegation.

Springs’ captain Adam Dickinson admitted it wasn’t his team’s best display but that won’t bother either him, his team or their club as they rejoin the Lotto NRFL Premier Division’s elite.

“Obviously it’s a great result for the club,” Dickinson said “It probably wasn’t one of our best games to be honest but we pulled through and still managed to get the win.”

“Gaining promotion and winning the title is a great thing for the club. This club deserves to be in the top division and we’ve done really well to get there,” he said.

In the battle to stay up Ellerslie AFC produced the quintessential Houdini act when Callum Waters goal midway through the second half of their clash with Oratia United handed Fred de Jong’s side a 1-0 win.

With Franklin United and Waitemata FC drawing 0-0 Ellerslie AFC leapfrogged United to safety thanks to their superior goal difference.

In the Lotto NRFL Premier Division Forrest Hill Milford slipped to a 3-0 thrashing at Three Kings United. Cam Howieson, Allan Pearce and Maksim Manko were all on target for the home side as Hamilton Wandrers – beaten 2-0 by Bay Olympic – stay up thanks to a two point buffer between themselves and Forrest Hill Milford.