Ranui Swanson 1, West Auckland AFC 0
Starling Park, Auckland, July 28 2012
Given I went to a Women’s Conference game a couple of weeks ago, I thought this week in the interests of gender equality I should probably make an effort to check out the men’s equivalent.
Jointly participated in by teams from the Northern Football Federation and the Auckland Football Federation, the Conference is one of the competitions that feeds into the Northern Regional Football League. The team that wins the Conference plays off for promotion into the Northern Division 2.
This game between Ranui Swanson and West Auckland AFC, one of several West Auckland derbies that takes place in the Conference, was fairly uninspiring to be perfectly brutally honest. There was not much flow about it and although Ranui dominated possession, they didn’t appear to do much with it.
Shots on goal were fairly evenly spread across the two attacks but for the most part lacked sting. It had looked as though we were heading for a rather dour 0-0 until a latish winner from Ranui was bludgeoned in from near the penalty spot with around ten minutes to go.
At the final whistle, Ranui looked like they’d just won the Champions League. West Auckland players on the other hand were sporting somewhat wry smiles. The reality of the league is that top team Oratia United are looking pretty unassailable at the top and will in all likelihood represent the West in Division 2 next season, so the reality was there wasn’t a lot to play for apart from derby pride over the rest of the field.
But these two could well be nipping at the heels of the big guns one day in the not too distant future. Ranui Swanson in particular have a young multi-ethnic squad that sit upper mid-table of the Conference and boast excellent modern facilities at Starling Park, the sort of facilities that tend to attract good players as time goes on. They seem like a club very much on the rise and one that could be worth keeping a close eye on in seasons to come.
Categories: NZ AFF/NFF Men's Conference
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.