Good Friday saw the Premier League team face W League contenders Palmerston North Marist, while the W League team took on an understrength Wairarapa in the first round of the Kelly Cup.
It was always going to be a tough ask of the Prems to face up to PNM, but face up they did. Irrespective of the score, the girls worked hard as a team and kept their shape and composure, and at times played a great brand of football. Cam and Jamie had set a number of team goals for this match and were pleased that the team stuck to their guns in achieving them, while in the process managing to rattle their higher league opposition. For perspective, the final score of 9-0 is on par with some of the lower placed W League teams, which we should take as a positive for this very young developing side.
The W League team started their Kelly Cup campaign against Wairarapa knowing that there were a few missing from their starting first team. We started quickly, hitting the back of the net after just 4 mins via Rebecca Jefferies. In quick succession, Emma Main, CJ Bott, Kennedy Bryant, Bria Sargent and Sarah Gregorious were on the score sheet making the score 6-0 after only 20 mins. To Wairarapa’s credit, they never gave up, never parked the bus, and kept trying to play their style and shape, which in turn allowed us to play attractive, positive football and to try different combinations. At half time we made the maximum five substitutions, and the pleasing thing from a coaching perspective was that our standard remained high, and we continued to play good football for a sustained 90 mins. The final score was 20-0, including 3 hat tricks, (Ellen Stirling, Rebecca Jefferies and Sarah Gregorious), a brace each for CJ Bott and Kennedy Bryant, 4 goals for Emma Main, and singles from Bria Sargent & Carolyn O’Reilly.
Easter Monday had the Prems away to Island Bay at Wakefield Park looking for their first win of the season. The girls started strongly, and created 3 fantastic opportunities in the first 20 mins, with Sydnie Williams netting her first for the season making it 1-0. We continued to press high, and looked to capitalise on Island Bays’ mistakes, Sydnie netting her second, and a Becky Stewart corner kick duped an Island Bay defender, forcing her to knock it into her own net making it 3-0. We weren’t done yet, with a well worked move down the right finding Kassandra Clendon whom calmly took her chance to score. 4-0 half time.
Island Bay made some tactical changes to switch out their quickest attacker and put her in at left back to combat our attacking threat, which was indicative of the pressure we were creating, and shortly after halftime, a quick break and a great through ball saw Brooke Chandler scamper away from the defence, and calmly slot past the approaching keeper.
We had made several changes of our own at the half, and continued to push on. Island Bay made more of a game of it in the second 45, pushing 3 up front, and on occasion getting in behind our defence, however we never truly felt threatened. The final score in cold conditions 5-0.
This Saturday the W-League take on Seatoun in what will no doubt be a hotly contested match, while the Prems take on Vic Uni on the Sunday.
Premier League POD
Kelly Cup – Rosie Baillie
Round 3 – Laura Andersen
Kelly Cup – Rebecca Jefferies
Check out photos from these games in our Women’s Gallery (Photo credit: Rosa Posa Sports Photographs)