By HENRY MORABANG
GELLE Hills striker Billy Kapuk scored a brace against depleted Eastern Star to propel his team into Telikom National Soccer League (NSL) premiership contention.
The franchise coached by Wesley Waiwai now has moved into fourth spot ahead of Tukoko University.
It was Solomon Islands import Paul Wale who put striker Danny Banaba to score in the 34th minute but Kapuk who displayed why he was snatched out of his home village tucked away in grasslands of the Markham Valley, Morobe province, to play for Hills scored a double.
Kapuk scored in the 47th minute and the later in the 61st minute to seal the game for Gelle Hills to be elevated to fourth position.
Competition leaders Hekari United retained the top spot with a 10-0 win over young Besta PNG United side while CMSS Tigers hopes for a win was shattered by Gigira Laitepo Morobe fightback for to force a 2-2 draw.
In fact, young cub Bruce Kusunan put Tigers in front and defended the goal throughout the opening half.
It was in the second half when school boy Nigel Dabinyaba displayed his true colours to level the scores before Manaseh Adi scored the winner to almost seal the match for the home side.
With the clock ticking away, Tigers had a quick restart which saw Max Mende scoring the equaliser seconds before the final whistle.
Morobe manager Stanley Khanna said there were only two teams other franchises needed to beat to get to the finals Hekari United and Tigers.
The crowd that turned up numbers to watch the matches, appreciated the display of talent by Tigers and Morobe, with saying it was one of the best football matches seen in Lae for a long time.
The points ladder as of last weekend: Hekari 22, Tigers 19, Gigira Laitepo Morobe 19, Gelle Hills 18, Tukoko University 14, Eastern Star 11, Niupetro Fox five and Besta PNG United two.