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United welcome Chatham Cup bye

Cory Chettleburgh likely to miss next CL game because of red card. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

By Gary Caffell

Wairarapa United’s Central League men’s football squad are about to have a weekend off and coach Phil Keinzley couldn’t be happier about it.

Expectations were they would be involved in a Chatham Cup first round fixture on May 13 or 14 but they have had the good fortune to draw a bye along with other well-performed CL sides Wellington Olympic, Wellington United and Miramar Rangers,

Keinzley said the brief break would do his team good as they were starting to show the signs of wear and tear after a successful CL campaign which has seen them win five of their seven matches, score more goals than any other side (24) and lead the 10-team competition by 1pt from Stop Out and Western Suburbs.

“I think it’s the ideal time to have a weekend off, we’ve got a few niggles here and there but nothing serious.

And you have to remember too that some of the guys have been playing non-stop for practically 18 months because of the national league and a breather has got to be really beneficial for them too.”

Keinzley sees their Chatham Cup and Central League campaigns as being of equal importance for Wairarapa United this season, saying the aim was to win both.

If that happens it would be the first-ever CL title for the club and the second time they have won the Chatham Cup after their initial success in 2011.

Keinzley was also coach of that 2011 side and while he believes they may had have more “X-factor” than the current squad he considers the latter have greater depth as far as talent is concerned.

Wairarapa United’s next assignment will be a CL match against Palmerston North Marist at Memorial Park, Masterton on Saturday, May 20, kicking off at 5.30pm, and they will be probably be without the services of Cory Chettleburgh, who was red carded during the 2-1 victory over Lower Hutt on Saturday.

The loss of Chettleburgh would be a big blow as the gritty midfielder has been in excellent form in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Wairarapa United seconds stayed within reach of the pacesetters in the Capital three division men’s competition with their 3-2 victory over Eastbourne on Saturday.

Brooklyn Northern United reserves are on top with 15pts, followed by Island Bay United thirds and Upper Hutt Hooligans on 13, Wairarapa United seconds 11, Parapine ITM Upper Hutt City 7, Victoria University thirds, Victoria University Stallions and Petone, all 6pts, and Eastbourne and KCU reserves, both on 3pts.

The 2-0 victory achieved by the Wairarapa United seconds women’s team over Wellington United Emeralds on Sunday consolidated their second spot in the Capital division one series.

They have 12pts, 3pts less than leaders Victoria University seconds who have played five games to Wairarapa United’s four.

Island Bay Flames and Wellington United Emeralds hold third place with 9pts, followed by Wellington Olympic 6, Stop Out Red and Powerex Petone, both 4, and Seatoun, KCU reserves and North Wellington, all of whom have yet to open their account.


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