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Encouraging pre-season victories

Cameron Lindsay needed seven stitches for a head injury. PHOTOS/FILE

Rutene on target in comeback

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

WAIRARAPA UNITED 2
WAINUIOMATA 0

Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley was thrilled with his team’s effort in beating Wainuiomata 2-0 on Saturday in the quarterfinal of the Hilton Petone Cup.

Keinzley had anticipated a difficult match against Wainuiomata, who have won promotion to the Central League for the first time and are now run by the Porirua-based Ole Academy.

“It was a good effort. It’s always hard playing against the Ole Academy teams, with their fitness and organisation,” he said.

“What was satisfying was the performance of the youngsters, and a lot of them are challenging for starting positions.”

Keinzley singled out Jonty Roubos as outstanding in the midfield, and Riley Grover, who impressed when having to drop back to the central defender’s role after the experienced Cameron Lindsay left the field early in the match with a head cut that needed seven stitches.

Veteran Paul Ifill opened the scoring with his third penalty in three games, after striker Jared Cunniff was taken down in the box, and Stephen Sprowson scored with a cracker of a goal from 10 metres outside the box on a wide angle.

Despite the win, the match will probably be the last for United in the preseason competition.

Keinzley said there are eight injuries, and with only 10 players available from the 22-player squad, they will likely withdraw from the semifinal, to focus on the start of the Central League on March 28 against Petone.

WAI UNITED WOMEN 7
BROOKLYN NORTHERN UNITED 1

Kelsi Rutene [7], came off the bench and scored two goals.
Wairarapa United women’s coach Paul Ifill was satisfied with their 7-1 win over Brooklyn Northern United to kick off their defence of the Kelly Cup.

United dominated from the first whistle, taking a 4-0 lead into the halftime break.

Although they conceded a second half goal, United were untroubled and added three further goals, with Kelsi Rutene scoring two after coming off the bench in her first game for the team in almost two years.

Midfielder Kennedy Bryant [2], Samoan international TJ Lyne-Lewis, game captain Tui Dugan, and striker Sam Whyte also found the back of the net.

“The girls played well. It was our first hitout, and I’m pretty happy with it,” Ifill said.

“It was nice to see the combinations, and they linked up really well, so I think we can take something out of it.

“Obviously, we’ve got a few new players, and a whole new midfield. It was good for fitness and good for a first hit out.”

Ifill said Emma Megchelse and Nicole Robertson were very good in their first outing for United, but it was the return of Rutene that impressed him.

“Kelsi was probably the standout.

“She started from the bench because I wasn’t sure how fit she would be after such a long time out, but she didn’t miss a beat – she was excellent.”

United have drawn fellow W-League side Palmerston North Marist at home in round two, and Ifill said, “that’s going to be a completely different kettle of fish.”

DOUGLAS VILLA 3
UPPER HUTT CITY 1

Oskar James scored his first hat-trick for Douglas Villa in their 3-1 win over Upper Hutt City in a pre-season clash at Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt on Sunday.

James opened the scoring early on, and Villa controlled the match from then on to come away with a comfortable victory.

Villa went into the game missing four players from the previous weekend’s win over Naenae, giving coach Malcolm Cox the opportunity to try new combinations.

As well as James, right-wing Jamie McMaster was another to impress Cox, who was satisfied with the outcome against stronger opponents than Naenae, who they beat 7-1.

Villa will play Palmerston North side Red Sox in their next pre-season game this Saturday.

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