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Wairarapa United wrap up in style

Annie Jones, No 14, lets fly with Wairarapa United’s opening goal. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Wairarapa United 5
Lower Hutt City 0

Dylen Kingi, right, tussles with a Lower Hutt defender. Kingi capped a solid game with a powerfully struck goal.

Tumu Wairarapa United wrapped up the championship for the first round of Wellington women’s division one with a convincing win over Lower Hutt City on Sunday.

Lower Hutt started the stronger in blustery conditions at Trust House Memorial Park, with the home side taking their time to settle.

“Lower Hutt had more of the ball for the first five to 10 minutes,” United coach Radha McGlashan said.

“I don’t know if it was just that we hadn’t found our groove, but as soon as we found it, we were pretty much on the ball, and we dominated, especially the second half.”

Annie Jones opened the scoring midway through the first spell, and Romy Ifill doubled the lead close to halftime.

A powerfully struck shot by centreback Dylen Kingi gave the Lower Hutt goalkeeper no chance for a 3-0 lead.

Brittney McGruddy, right, beats a Lower Hutt defender.

Brittney McGruddy scored with a beautiful freekick from just outside the box and into the top left-hand corner of the goal, and 14-year-old Ayla McRae-Burling capped off a good game, latching on to a clearance from a corner and chipping the goalkeeper.

United finished the first round on 23 points, one ahead of Wellington United Opals, with Petone third a further point behind.

McGlashan is uncertain what happens next with the league but expects division two winners Seatoun or Miramar Rangers to be promoted and the points to restart for the second round.

SMART PLAY WITH THE WIND PAYS OFF

Douglas Villa Magpies 4
Petone Thirds 2

Playing smart football with the wind in the first half paid off for Douglas Villa Magpies as they grabbed a valuable victory over Petone Thirds in Capital division four at Park Sports Ground.

“We played really well with the wind,” Magpies manager Nathan Cottle said.

“We were just smarter, we played it along the ground, and we didn’t get carried away with the long ball, and that was some of our nicest footy all year in that first half, and we did what we had to in the second half really just to contain them because that wind was telling.”

Striker Josh McMenamin opened the scoring after seven minutes with a powerfully struck goal into the top corner, and Cottle said that was one of the best he has seen.

McMenamin made it 2-0 after 26 minutes with a freekick from 40 metres goal for the team on the stroke of halftime.

An Ed De Lara-Bell goal early in the second spell gave the Magpies a four-goal cushion, and although Petone managed two goals, it was too little too late.

Cottle said McMenamin and Cox were outstanding and are forming a solid midfield-attacking combination.

Josh Greig and Mark Sprowson were impressive in the centre of defence, and fullbacks Josh and Marcus Logan were also solid in what he felt was a good, all-round team effort.

The win lifted Magpies to seventh in the league, but only one point clear of Island Bay and two points ahead of Waikanae, who both have a game in hand.

Magpies are at home on Saturday to Tawa, who they lost 5-0 to in the first round.

ROLLERCOASTER SEASON CONTINUES

Masterton Athletic 5
Petone Stonecutters 2

Progressive Engineering Masterton Athletic’s rollercoaster season in capital division four continued with a convincing win over Petone Stonecutters at Hullena Park.

Athletic bounced back from their disappointing loss the previous weekend to the struggling Victoria University to record their fourth win and move to sixth in the standings.

Athletic played with the strong wind in the first half and took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes but went to sleep five minutes before halftime conceding two goals.

Whatever coach Stu McLean said at halftime worked, though, as Athletic quickly restored their two-goal lead within four minutes of the restart.

A fifth goal, a superb strike by Glen Fraser, sealed the three points.

Athletic’s other goals were scored by Landon Palmer [two], Gareth Gwyther, and there was an own goal.

“Petone like to play a controlled game of football, and we got stuck into them and didn’t give them time on the ball,” McLean said.

“We really played with a lot of passion, a lot of thought, and we’re finally starting to realise what we need to do and how to get stuck in, and it was a good game of controlled football.”

McLean said that he couldn’t get over the rollercoaster ride the team are on, and the key now was to produce back-to-back performances.

Athletic won’t get a better chance at home on Saturday to bottom of the table Kapiti Coast United, who Athletic defeated 6-5 in their first-round clash.

The Capital division four match between Greytown Fresh Choice and Wellington United Reserves, scheduled for Saturday, was deferred because of a covid-19 outbreak in the Wellington camp.

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