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Cunniff hat-trick hero

Wairarapa United players congratulate Jared Cunniff on his hat-trick. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

Wai United women show character in victory

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Wairarapa United 7
Wainuiomata 0

Trust House Wairarapa United striker Jared Cunniff continued his rich vein of form on Saturday with his first hat-trick for the club in the 7-0 demolition of Wainuiomata in a Central League match.

The three goals at Trust House Memorial Park took his tally to 11 from seven league games, with the only game he hasn’t featured on the scoresheet being the 0-1 loss to Wellington Olympic.

Cunniff also went to the top of the goal-scoring chart across all three national championships – the Central, Northern, and Southern leagues.

The Englishman was quick to praise his teammates for the win over Wainuiomata, bouncing back from the 1-8 thumping by Miramar Rangers the previous weekend.

“That was much better. We needed it as well, and it was great to see it from the boys,” he said.

“I think defensively we were unreal, and I think that’s where it started, and it’s great to bounce back. It was awesome.”

It would bring a lot of confidence to the team but it was hard to look too far ahead given the unpredictable nature of the Central League, he said.

“You just don’t know in this league. We beat Napier 5-0 a few weeks ago, and then they go and beat teams we lost to so it’s a very open league.”

Paul Ifill beats a Wainuiomata player.

Veteran Paul Ifill, with two goals, and Hugo Delhommelle, with a screamer from 25m, and Jonty Roubos also got on the scoresheet.

Coach Phil Keinzley said he was pleased with the clean sheet.

“It’s only the second game this season where we’ve scored first, so it shows when we get in front, we’re hard to beat,” he said.

“It was also good to play the youngsters. Harry [Dudley] played his first game and got an assist, so it was very pleasing.”

United will have a break next weekend, with the round of Chatham Cup matches being played.

W-LEAGUE

Wairarapa United 3
Waterside-Karori 2

Tumu ITM Wairarapa United coach Paul Ifill praised the team’s character after they came from behind to beat Waterside-Karori 3-2 on Saturday.

The two teams went into the match at Trust House Memorial Park with contrasting records. United had a three-one win record while Waterside had lost their two games to league powerhouses Wellington Diamond United and Palmerston North Marist but Ifill said the visitors were much better than their record.

That showed in the first half, with Waterside taking the lead and holding it until the second half.

Samoan international TJ Lyne-Lewis finally broke the defence to open the home side’s account after 55 minutes.

Sam Whyte came off the bench to add the second before Lyne-Lewis gave United a two-goal cushion.

Waterside pulled a goal back, meaning several nervous final few minutes for Ifill.

“There were some good parts, but ultimately it was a bit too close for comfort, but we found a way to win which was quite pleasing,” he said.

“I think we were a lot below the standard that I expect but in saying that, we showed a hell of a lot of character to get back into the game.

“It’s good to play free-flowing football, but sometimes you have to learn to win when you’re not doing so well, and that was case in point.”

Lyne-Lewis’s two goals took her tally to nine from just four games in the W-League, and joint top with Marist’s Mikaela Boxall.

United take a break next weekend with the opening round of the Kate Sheppard national knockout cup to be played.

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