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Sunday the 13th

Eastern Suburbs 2, Three Kings United 0
Madills Farm, Auckland, April 13 2014

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My attendance at a close friend’s wedding yesterday kept me from Saturday football action. Before you say it, no, football wasn’t more important on this occasion – I was the best man so unable to pull the ‘dude, you scheduled a wedding during footy season??? FORGEDDABOUDIT!!!’ card. Therefore my choice of game this weekend was yet another relatively easy one. Restricted to just Women’s Premier to choose from, the stand out match was clearly this one, as Eastern Suburbs picked up an important win to cement their place as top contenders for this year’s NRFL Women’s Premier crown, defeating another traditionally strong side in Three Kings United, 2-0 in Kohimarama.

With two wins from two, the defending champions are now one of only three unbeaten sides, the other two being star studded Forrest Hill Milford and surprise packets Lynn Avon. Their victory was marred however by a heart-breaking injury to their influential number 12, Emily Stotter, who had to be taken off to hospital with a suspected broken wrist following an awkward fall. It was the second serious injury of the day as an ambulance also had to be called in the earlier reserve game causing a fifteen minute delay to the main event. It’s always very sad to see players pick up career hampering injuries and this all cast a bit of a shadow over the rest of the day’s events.

The show must go on though of course. Looking at the Eastern Suburbs XI, it was a fairly strong side and on paper the superior of the two. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Sarah Gregorius, one of New Zealand’s finest players, in action once again although disappointing that the powers that be at Liverpool Football Club seemingly haven’t recognised her considerable talent by keeping her on their books, as she was last season. Their loss was our gain though as she put in a stand out performance.

I also want to make a special mention of a Three Kings player, Shivanthi Anthony, who had a very good game at the back I thought, putting in numerous excellent tackles to shut down Suburbs players in dangerous positions. Good defending, for me, is just as beautiful to watch as a stunning goal and there were several spectacular Anthony interventions that were a joy to behold.

Star of the show once again though, as it so often is, was Rebecca Tegg. Her two goals were the difference between the two sides – one earlyish in the first half and one earlyish in the second, both well taken as always. Her first was a rounding of the keeper who had come way off her line to meet the Suburbs striker as she rampaged down the right hand side of the penalty area unhindered following a lovely releasing pass from Stotter. Her second was just a lovely thundering finish from the base of the penalty arc to seal the points.

In the final analysis, Suburbs just had all the firepower. I’m struggling to think of any serious Three Kings attempts on goal that made me go “ooooh” aside from one that hit the crossbar towards the end of the second half. So a well-earned victory for Suburbs. Next week, I shall make a serious attempt to cover division 1 and/or 2, both of which I am quite conscious have been a bit neglected so far this year.

And just one last reiteration that my thoughts are with Emily Stotter, who I wish a speedy recovery.

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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