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The divining rod

Eastern Suburbs 4, Norwest United 1
Madills Farm, Auckland, May 24 2015

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Sometimes it’s easy. I look at the draw for the round and go – “AHA! That’s the game I’m going to!” And other times, like this one, I literally don’t decide until I pull out of the driveway. The first decision is whether to turn left or right at my letterbox, and then things develop from there…

Women’s Premier was definitely the order of the day today, but which game? One obvious option was to head over to Riverhills and watch Claudelands, my favourite women’s team, take on Fencibles. But with that being top of the table facing bottom, it didn’t exactly seem like a close game was in store.

With the weather being pretty dire, a sensible decision would have been to head to the Shore, where Forrest Hill were playing Papatoetoe and Glenfield were hosting Three Kings. That way if one of the two was called off, it would have been a short hop to the other. Or even more sensible still would have been a trip to Western Springs vs Lynn Avon – played on all-weather Tiger Turf with a nice dry balcony to take photos from! What more could a football tragic wish for?

But instead, my steering wheel just seemed to lead me to Kohimarama. Why? Was my subconscious looking for a nice picturesque journey along Tamaki Drive and the edge of the Waitemata Harbour? Was I thinking of the coffee machine in the Eastern Suburbs clubrooms that is always a good option on a miserable day? Or perhaps it was the prospect of catching my first sight of Paul Marshall and his Mount Albert Grammar School kids in action for the home side?

Nobody can say, but one thing I do know is my Honda divining rod didn’t lead me too far astray. The other games ended 10-0, 6-0, 6-0 and 4-0 respectively and you know what that means, right? It means for once in my life I picked the closest game of the round!! Even though in reality it wasn’t all that close…

Eastern Suburbs were always in control, right from the get go, and with a strong wind at their backs they attacked and found the back of the net inside the first five minutes. The early goal was thanks to a dinky little header that Jade Parris just steered over the head of Norwest keeper Georgia Steele, who was on her way out to meet the young New Zealand age group rep. Suburbs then doubled their lead around 15 minutes later when a Steele clearance found its way into the path of Parris, who bagged her second with a thunderous shot that once she connected with it, it stayed hit with no chance for Steele to make amends.

Norwest managed the odd sortie into their opposition third but for the most part the first half well and truly belonged to the lily whites and the home side was fully deserving of the 2-0 lead that they sprinted into the sheds with as the heavens opened!

However, about a quarter of an hour into the second stanza there was a controversial moment that looked like it could have heralded a Norwest comeback. Subbies keeper Rivalina Fuimaono came out to meet an attack by Football Fern Megan Lee. The challenge earned the young keeper a yellow card and a penalty awarded against her. My photos of the incident aren’t sharp enough to publish but they do clearly show that the challenge occurred outside the area.

Lee duly converted, but rather than mark the start of a grandstand finish, it simply provided the impetus for the home side to plant their collective foot on the gas and drive off into the sunset via two nicely taken goals by Jaquie Hand.

That, as they say, was the ball game.

The moral of this tale is, that as a way to choose a game, letting the car decide has its merits…

I won’t be able to try it again for a while. The Under 20 World Cup starts next weekend and I’m likely to be covering that for a while. But perhaps next time I want a Saturday game to go to and there are three men’s NRFL divisions all being played at once… Well, then things could get interesting! Until then, I am happy enough to fall back on the good old fashioned tried and true technique of taking whatever is on offer!

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

An action photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand. I focus on sport, birds or cats depending on what stage of the apocalypse we're currently experiencing.

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