By Grant Hassall
The celebrations continued well into Sunday and are likely to continue for a few more days to come for Spotswood United after it won the CMK Taranaki premier club rugby title at Yarrow Stadium on Saturday.
Spotswood United’s maiden title, which was something every club member had dreamed of since the 1990 amalgamation, was achieved when the side edged past Coastal 18-13 in an even final.
In the final wash up, Spotswood United was more accurate at converting their pressure into points, a disappointing conclusion for Coastal after they had also lost the final in the two previous seasons.
Industrious Spotswood United captain Matt Goodwin was naturally delighted with the success of his side, and while not lost for words, admitted that “no words can describe the feeling.”
Like rival captain, Jeremy Newell, he was full of praise for both sides.
“Coastal have been the team to beat all year, having beaten us twice. But we got the one that we wanted. It was an awesome effort from the team.”
Youthful Spotswood United first-five-eighth Josh Jacomb, while far from a finished product, capped off a memorable first season in Taranaki club rugby, playing an influential role in his team’s triumph.
Not long out of Sacred Heart College, Auckland, Jacomb’s kicking contributed eight points, with both teams scoring two tries.
His strong tactical kicking game – old-fashioned but successful – often turned Coastal around in the closing quarter of the decider after Spotswood United had taken the lead in the 60th minute.
It was Jacomb who was responsible for the lead change and the last points in the finale. Attacking mid-way between the goal line and 22m, Jacomb ran to the right, drawing the defence with him. But against the grain, he kicked into the in-goal where Tyrese Ratahi caught the ball and dotted down. Jacomb converted.
Spotswood United started the final brightly, with Paul Perez scoring in the sixth minute. But on the back of three penalties and some good forward rumbles, Liam Parker levelled the ledger for Coastal seven minutes later.
After Rick McKenna and Jacomb had exchanged penalties, the sides went into half time at 8-all.
Soon after the restart, an excellent break from McKenna led to a Troy Stevenson try for Coastal. Even though Jacomb reduced the deficit, Coastal still had the edge. But they could not add to their count. A powerful drive across the Spotswood goal line soon after was only denied by TJ Ane and Jacomb.
Spotswood then introduced some powerful replacements, as they regathered the momentum.
FINAL SCORE: Spotswood United 18 | Coastal 13