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A new hope

Waikato Bay of Plenty 4, Central Football 0
St Peter’s College, Cambridge, October 12 2014

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Wait, what? Did I just write 4-0? Surely not. Hang on a minute I’ll go and check that was really the score. Back in a tick……..

Hey, wow, yep. It really was 4-0 to WaiBOP! I know I was there and all, but it’s still taking some time to sink in.

Before today, the WaiBOP National Women’s League team’s record with me watching was: Played 6, won 0, drawn 0, lost 6, with 5 goals scored and 20 conceded. Not bad considering the first time I watched them play was in the 2011 National Women’s League Final! But as a die-hard Waikato loving tragic I keep coming back for more and the law of averages at least suggests that I was due for a win.

Of course saying it like that does somewhat diminish the performance of the players  though, and I wouldn’t want to do that. This mooloo victory was no fluke. It was thoroughly well earned and deserved.

What made the difference? Two words – Helen and Collins. She opted out of summer football last season and the result was a team toothless on attack and pretty leaky on defence. No worries on the attack side now with their goal machine back in the fray and the dial turned right up to kill mode. She sure looked aggressive and hungry this afternoon and the result of that was a well taken hat trick with two goals in the first half and one in the second. The other scorer for the home team was Kylie Jens who also played a blinder and grabbed the opener.

It was a dominant WaiBOP display all round, particularly in the first half and there never looked like being any other result. Central looked like their hosts did in 2013, perhaps sorely missing their own goal machine Emma Boyack who is named in the squad but not present today.

None the less it was also a great opportunity for me to see Central in action. They are the only team I didn’t get to see last year so rectifying that was a big priority. It was also good to note how uncanny it was that with the switch from the winter football season to the summer, like clockwork the photographic challenge immediately switched from not enough light to get good photos in to too bloody much light! It was certainly sunburn territory, which was a welcome change from the miserable weather I have watched my last few games in.

In other matches today, Auckland beat Capital 2-1 in Howick, Northern beat South 2-0 in Dunners and Mainland beat the NZ Under 18s 2-1 in Christchurch. Soooooooo unless I am VERY much mistaken that puts WaiBOP on top of the table! I think we should call the rest of the competition off. Stick a fork in it – it’s done. Let’s crown WaiBOP and move on.

But seriously though, it will be very interesting to see how they go in coming weeks, particularly when they face a side like Mainland or Northern with a bit more strike power than Central. Because if the defensive end has improved as much as the attacking one, these ladies in red could be the dark horses of the league.

Categories: NZ Women's National League

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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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