Hilton Petone Cup

Hilton Petone Cup - Division 2 Final
Lower Hutt City B 2 Waikanae 1
Monday 21st March 2016
Petone Memorial
Attendance : about 40

The 2016 Hilton Petone Cup is the 61st year it has been competed for. Petone club member Jack Evans proposed an end of season friendly competition to extend the juniors season. The Petone club took this idea and transformed it into a senior competition. Club administrator, Otto Hilton, championed the new tournament with other Wellington clubs and donated the cup and in 1955 the Hilton Petone Cup was born.

The winners of the first competition in 1955 were Miramar Rangers who beat Petone 3-1 in a replay after the first game was drawn 1 all. Jack Evans wasn't forgotten and since 1961 the runners up have received the Jack Evans Cup.

In 1972 the competition was changed to a pre-season tournament, with a round robin group stage and a knock out competition, the format that I still used today. In 1987 a 2nd division was introduced, the teams that play in this are the smaller clubs who are not as high up the league structure and the B & C teams of the division 1 clubs.

Barrie Truman
In the cups 61 year history, Petone & Miramar Rangers have won it the most with 7 wins each. Wellington United might argue they have won it more and if you combine all their clubs (United (4), WDU (6), Wellington City (3), Diamonds (3) & Zealandia (1)) they have 17 wins. But perhaps the award for most dominant in this competition should go to a coach rather than a club. In 13 seasons between 1979 & 1991 the cup was won 5 times by Wellington Diamond United, 4 times by Wellington United and 2 times by Miramar Rangers, the coach for these 11 wins was Barrie Truman. Truman realised this competition was ideal to prepare his teams fitness and also try out different combinations of players and was pretty successful at it!

So I had the glamour of a pre-season cup final to look forward to, but this blog is about real grassroots football, so I didn't bother with the Division 1 final (which was won by Lower Hutt City, who beat Wellington Olympic 5-2) instead I opted for the Division 2 final (well OK I didn't have a choice as I couldn't get Sunday off work!)

This game also includes Lower Hutt City – their B team, who play in Capital 1 and are making their 7th appearance in the Division 2 Final (3 wins, 3 losses). They will meet the surprise team of the tournament, last season's Capital 3 Champions Waikanae who will be making their first ever appearance in a final (and from what I can ascertain it is probably the biggest final the club, founded in 1978, has ever been in)

In getting to the final Lower Hutt scored 17 and Waikanae 15 in their 5 games so it could be reasonable to expect a few goals. Although I knew as soon as I worked this stat out I would probably be looking at a nill all draw! Pleasingly it wasn't nil all but it also wasn't a goal fest. Lower Hutt won 2-1 giving their club a double of both Division 1 & 2 Hilton Petone Cups, only the 2nd time this has ever happened (Petone the only other club to do it in 2000).
Waikane score from a corner

Waikanae gave a very good account of themselves but in the end the higher level of the Lower Hutt City team edged it although it really could have gone either way.

I took over 300 photos tonight but it's the first time I have shot in the evening and so most of them were pretty bad, I have ended up with 14, a couple on here and the rest on my FLICKR account, please have a look and let me know if they are any good and if you know any of the players in them let me know their names also, cheers.

One of my intention's this season is to visit every Wellington based clubs 1st team, most are in Central League or the top 2 Capital leagues, but some like Waikanae aren't, but if they play the way the did tonight I am looking forward to visiting them at sometime this season.

For the list of Hilton Petone Cup Finals click here
Campbell Sutherland (Sponsor) & Barry Pickering (NZ goalkeeping legend and Petone official) present cup to Lower Hutt City