After being eliminated from semi final contention a week ago the Thames Valley Heartland Team went into its last game against Poverty Bay looking to end the season on a good note in front of its home crowd at Boyd Park, Te Aroha. Thames Valley made a good start and at half time they only trailed Poverty Bay by 14 points to 8 after dominating possession throughout the opening spell. But Poverty Bay came out of the sheds for the second half with all guns blazing running in two quick tries, both of which were converted.
Thames Valley came back straight away when Tyrone Keith dotted down for his first six pointer of the year, reducing the deficit 30-14 but that was to be the last scoring action for the home team. The visitors took control of the game and proceeded to score another three tries. The win confirmed Poverty Bay a place in the semi finals of the Lochore Cup by virtue of securing seventh place in the final standings. They will face King Country in a sudden death semi final at Owen Delaney Park, Taupo on Saturday.
This game brings to an end the Thames Valley campaign for 2016 as they were unable to qualify for the Lochore Cup section of the Heartland Championship. It has been a difficult year for the team but at times it has shown its potential as seen in the draw against King Country. King Country ended up in sixth place and was probably one team Thames Valley should have beaten.
In other games Mid Canterbury lost 14-0 to South Canterbury in a match that doubled as a local derby. The result saw Mid Canterbury drop out of the top four as South Canterbury consolidated second place on the table. Playing through Meads Cup champions, Wanganui, took out the number one place with a hard earned 21-12 victory over a Horowhenua Kapiti side desperate to make the Lochore Cup play offs. Buller and King Country slogged it out to produce an incredible final score of 40-38 in favour of Buller.
East Coast tried to put a miserable season behind them with an improved them with an improved performance against Wairarapa Bush in Masterton but the home team was too strong, winning 44-22