Half A Loaf Is Better Than None – Jesse Randall
Jesse Randall, an attacking midfielder or striker, is the leading goal scorer in CSW Premier Football this season. Typically he plays just 45 minutes each week, balancing both school and club commitments.
Rongotai College are having a great season, despite missing Randall for large parts of most matches. On Saturday, Randall netted a goal and Mohammad Dia bagged a hat-trick as Rongotai defeated Scots College 5-1 to confirm their place in the Trevor Rigby Cup top four for the first time in four years.
Rongotai scored all their goals in the first-half proving they’re perhaps more worthy of a place at the Top 32 Nationals instead of Scots College who were selected ahead of Rongotai to attend. What’s more the previous weekend Scots defaulted to Wellington College leaving Rongotai in fifth place heading into the most recent round
“We weren’t short of motivation and the boys played out of their skins. I think it’s the best Rongotai performance I have been apart of,” Randall acclaims.
Rongotai are slowly gaining respect. In 2017 the Wellington College First XI coach wrote a letter advocating for Rongotai to be in the top division after a ferociously competitive tussle. Rongotai justified that sentiment when they beat St Pats Silverstream 1-0 in the second division decider. This season Rongotai thrashed Wellington Colleged 3-0 and tipped over St Patrick’s Silverstream. They also won the Wellington Futsal league.
Randall, a Year 11 student, cracked the First XI in Year 10. He believes Rongotai can become top dog in the capital. “It’s a really even competition this year. Each side plays a little differently, but there’s a lot of quality,” he observes.
Reigning champions St Pat’s Wellington won’t defend their title after they tumbled to fifth, losing 2-1 to Wellington College on the weekend. Goals by Alex Johnston and Will Forrest cancelled out a solitary strike by Lachlan O’Connor. St Pat’s Silverstream snapped their three-game losing streak thumping Tawa College 6-0 to sneak into fourth. Ben Taylor (2), Ryan Blair (2), Jack Ritchie and Seth Loughran collected goals in the rout. Hutt International Boys’ School were the top qualifiers beating Wairarapa College 2-1. Jack Wylie and Will Brownlie autographed the scoresheet with quality finishes.
Randall scored two goals against Wellington College and got three later that afternoon for Island Bay against Tawa. Randall has finished 14 times for Island Bay which sees him ranked third on the Capital Football Premiership goal scoring list.
Article and photo courtesy of College Sport Media