Wednesday, 26 May 2010 8:22 AM

Our Telekom National Club Championships Reaches Quarter Finals

The quarter finals of the Our Telekom National Club Championship will be held today. Only 8 of the 14 teams that registered now remain in the competition and after the quarter finals the top clubs in Solomon Islands will advance to the semi finals.

The final pool matches of the championship were played yesterday. Five (5) of the 6 Honiara clubs that entered the competition remain. Naha is the only Honiara club that did not make it into the quarter finals.

There are 3 provincial teams in the quarter finals. Rendova Devon and Soloso, from Western Province have their work cut out for them against Makuru and Solomon Warriors respectively. Northern United of Malaita have a 4:00pm meeting with KOSSA.

QUATER FINAL 1: Makuru v. Rendova Devon 10:00am, Lawson Tama Stadium

Makuru are in the finals courtesy of 3 wins out of 3 in what was a surprisingly tough pool. They will meet Rendova Devon of Western Province who are participating in the championship for the first time.

Makuru has has some of the most experienced footballers in the country and the addition of youngster like Dennis Ifunaoa and Coleman Makau has given a sense vibrancy and unpredictability about them. Striking duties will very likely rest with Commins Menapi but Lyson Wate will be equally important.

Rendova Devon, on the other hand, has few players that have experienced competitive football at this level. However, their 0 - 0 draw with Koloale on Saturday shows that they have the capacity to compete at this stage. Goldie Tagini will be playing a major role in their attack and defence.

QUATER FINAL 2: Koloale v. Marist 12:00N, Lawson Tama Stadium

Koloale boasts some of the top players in the Honiara football league including the likes of Henry Fa'arodo, Mostyn Beui and goalkeeper Shadrack Ramoni. They received a boost with the addition of Benjamin Totori to their line-up in this year's competition. Totori's speed is something for Marist defenders to contend with when they meet in their quarter final showdown today.

Koloale's performance in the group stages was almost flawless. They lead Group B with 3 wins and 1 draw. They also have not conceded any goal so far reflecting the strength of their defence where Welchman Houkaraua is the main man.

Marist has not impressed its fans in this year's championship but it can draw a lot of confidence from its position in the Honiara Football Association DJ League tables. It lost to minnows, Soloso, in their second group stage match and will struggle to win against this Koloale team. Nevertheless, history has shown that the unexpected can happen as was seen in the 2009 Our Telekom National Club Championship where Marist beat Koloale 1 - 0 in the grand final.

Elliot Ragomo will complement Emmanuel Poila in the midfield and Tutizama Tanito who has big shoes to fill in the striking department will need to play at a hundred and twenty per cent to score against their opponents.

QUATER FINAL 3: Soloso v. Solomon Warriors 2:00pm, Lawson Tama Stadium

Soloso have the might of Solomon Warriors to deal with when they meet in their quarter final match up at 2:00pm this afternoon.

The Solomon Warriors, known as Uncles in past editions of the Our Telekom National Club Championship, have underperformed in their 3 group stage matches winning only 1, drawing 1 and losing the third. However, they have a full strength team except only for Judd Molea who has moved to Northern United but he has been adequately replaced by George Abba. The return of Kidstone Billy to the team has also been a great boost.

Soloso are a vastly improved side from the one that debuted in the 2009 championship. They proved that they are one of the top sides in the competition by defeating both Naha (4 - 2) and Marist (2 - 1) in their first 2 pool matches. However, taking on Solomon Warriors will be an entirely different experience for the Western Province team.

The Solomon Warriors will be relying on their speed and strength to defeat Soloso. Soloso will be struggling to overcome a psychological barrier in this game and should perform at one hundred per cent should they do this. Their fitness will be their greatest asset. Solomon Warrior's greatest strength will be their speed and continued movement of the ball.

QUATER FINAL 4: KOSSA v. Northern United

Former O-League finalists KOSSA will meet Northern United in the fourth and final quarter final match of the day.

KOSSA are in the quarter finals courtesy of 4 wins out of 4 from their group stage matches. They have an arsenal of top class players to use in this match and their record in scoring goals has been superb as they proved against Soloso in their final group match.

Northern United has included for the championship some of the top players in the country including Gideon Omokirio, Stanley Waita and Judd Molea. Waita will be controlling their attack from the midfield and goal scoring will go down to Selwyn Junior and Michael Taeman.

The winner of this match will be the team who is able to maintain their composure for longer than their opponent as both teams are more or less equal in most other areas.