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2017 North Harbour Champions

After a close semi-final loss to arch-rivals Takapuna in 2016, the Northcote Premier team were determined to push for success in 2017. With good first-round wins against Glenfield, Takapuna, Marist and Kumeu and a solitary loss to Silverdale, the team headed into the second round with a bit of confidence but needing to show some improvement if we were to compete with the big guns.

The second round did not start well with a poor performance against a struggling North Shore side, but this was followed up with an exceptional landmark performance against East Coast Bays. That started an unbeaten sequence with wins against Massey, Mahurangi, Glenfield, Takapuna, Silverdale, Marist and Kumeu which would see the team qualify in the top spot and earn direct entry through the playoffs and into a home semi-final against East Coast Bays.

In front of a large home crowd, the lead changed hands several times with Bays going ahead with less than 10 minutes left. With only a couple of minutes left, the team converted a penalty and managed to secure possession from the resulting kickoff, holding on until the final whistle. QBE Stadium here we come!

The final against Takapuna was played in challenging conditions with swirling winds and at times horizontal rain. In a tight tussle with only 1 try scored, again the score changed several times leaving Takapuna a single point ahead when the final hooter sounded. Fortunately, the referee had awarded us a scrum around the halfway mark and after an incredible 26 phases we set ourselves up for a drop goal attempt. It missed but Takapuna had got offside resulting in a penalty in front of the posts. It was duly converted and we were crowned champions for 2017!

The team would like to thank major sponsors Recreational Services, Rex Industrial and Sue Mayhew at Bayleys, as well as Super Liquor Poenamo and former team manager and club stalwart Gerard Boesley at StorePro for their amazing support. We would also like to thank all of our individual player sponsors and last but not least our fantastic and loyal supporters. We look forward to backing up in 2018 when we attempt to win consecutive titles for the first time in 28 years...

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