Meisha Boone scored United’s opening goal. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Barring a massive upset in the final round, the Tumu ITM Wairarapa United Women look destined to finish second in the W-League.

United went into Saturday’s penultimate round needing a win over Western Suburbs and hoping that leaders Wellington United Diamonds drew with or lost to Palmerston North Marist.

United did what they had to and beat Wests 3-1, but Diamonds came from a goal down at halftime to beat Marist 2-1.

That leaves Diamonds and United together at the head of the points’ table, with Diamonds having a superior goal difference.

With Diamonds to play Western Suburbs and United to play fourth-placed Waterside-Karori next Saturday, it would require a massive upset by Seatoun or a goal-fest by United for the Wairarapa side to lift the trophy.

United coach Paul Ifill admitted that winning the league could be a step too far now.

“We’re seven goals behind and we need a favour, but I just can’t see it. Wellington should be a bit too strong for Wests, and I can’t see them losing that.

“We’ll go out there and try and score as many as we can, but we also have to beware of Waterside, who have a game in hand and can nab us for second place.”

United had to work hard to beat Wests at Endeavour Park, Whitby.

Goals to veteran Meisha Boone and standout centre back Amber Phillips and an own goal wrapped up United’s tenth victory of the season.

Meanwhile, Jaycar Wairarapa United’s encouraging late season form continued with a 1-3 loss to a Miramar Rangers side stacked with National League players.

Again, defensive errors let United down at crucial times in the game played at Dave Farrington Park, Miramar.

The home team’s first two goals, to Finn Moore and Ollie Bassett, came from defensive blunders. Wan Gatkek scored their third goal.

Mark Hemi found the back of the net for United while they also had another goal disallowed.

Although United are still winless in the Central League, there have been some promising signs from the young side in the latter part of the season.

That is evident in the significant improvement shown in results against teams that thrashed them in the first round.

United lost 10-0 to Olympic and then 5-3 in the second round, 9-0 to Miramar and then 3-1, and maybe the potential relegation saving result a 1-1 draw with Napier City Rovers after losing 9-0 in the first round.

United will host Lower Hutt City in the final match of the season next Saturday.