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Raining goals

Eastern Suburbs 5, Upper Hutt 0
Madills Farm, Auckland, August 27 2017

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It rained…

Just for a refreshing change of pace. Last year I talked about sexist rain. Because that winter there was a distinct pattern of sunny Saturdays for men’s football and miserable Sundays for the women’s game. I apologise profusely to the weather gods for casting such misogynistic aspersions on them. I have well and truly learned my lesson this winter, when it has rained on me for the duration of just about every single blimin’ game I have attended without any fear or favour whatsoever.

I don’t know why I thought Sunday would be different, despite the weather forecast. I checked the Met Service App when I got to Madills Farm, it said rain developing in the evening so I put my light jacket on safe in the knowledge that it wouldn’t rain. I now demand my money back.

“DEVELOPING IN THE EVENING!” Is 2pm the evening, Met Service??

No, 2pm is not the evening…

Not that I knew that the game was starting at 2pm at that stage because in an all new episode of everyone’s favourite comedy series ‘Enzo Doesn’t Check the Schedule’, I had assumed a 1pm kickoff and arrived (assuming I was running late) at 12:50.

When I approached referee Sarah Jones to ask for the team sheets I was puzzled a bit by the fact that the officials were all standing around gossiping in their tracksuits. “Is the match starting on time” I tentatively enquired. “Yes, at 2pm” said Sarah. “Oh…”

So there was some time to kill. I chatted to a few people, took a photo of the impressive collection of orange clad Upper Hutt supporters, telling them “I’ll do a before and after shot!” They chuckled.

Eventually, with no rain whatsoever up until that point, kick-off time arrived.

And then, right on cue, it rained…

I thought it would probably just be a passing shower, but none the less I set up at the end Upper Hutt were attacking because there was a serious bit of breeze at Eastern Suburbs’ backs that would have blown the rain straight onto my lens if I’d stood at the Southern end.

And it kept raining…

I didn’t see a lot of attacking in the first half, mainly because the Lilywhites were doing the vast bulk of it, but through my rain specked glasses I did manage to make out an unsurprisingly stand-out performance by Upper Hutt’s former Football Fern Sarah Gregorius who has played a few games for Eastern Suburbs in her time! There were some notable opportunities falling to both her and Junior Fern Emma Main in particular, and they were unlucky not to get on the scoreboard once or twice.

And it rained some more…

At the far end though, Suburbs were almost looking like they were continuing where they left off last Friday night when they couldn’t put Forrest Hill Milford away. The ghost of that evening must have been looming large in their minds as the half time whistle blew and the score was still locked at nil apiece.

And, just like that, it stopped raining!

Until the players came out for the second half, when… Yep, you guessed it…

It rained again…

But what you might never have guessed is that in the second half I was finally right about something! At that fateful game last Friday night I predicted that Suburbs would run away with it eventually, and afterwards I thought I had been horribly wrong. It turns out, though, that I wasn’t wrong at all. I was just early.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, the abovementioned ghost finally began to be exorcised when Jacqui Hand slotted. And an Erin Roxburgh tap-in eight minutes later followed by a Hand tap in four minutes after that saw all trace of it disappear faster than you can say Beetlejuice.

Oh, by the way, just so you know, it was still raining…

The Wellingtonians were then ruthlessly finished off with two goals in quick succession from Hand to complete her hat-trick in the 87th minute and then a richly deserved goal from Tayla O’Brien shortly thereafter. Just like that, I had seen my second 5-0 cup demolition in the space of two days.

It was raining goals as well as, you know, actual rain.

I didn’t follow through with that ‘after’ shot of the Upper Hutt fans I had promised them. They didn’t need me adding to their misery. And I was keen to get home and out of my rain soaked clothes.

Did I mention that it had been raining?

Thanks Met Service.

Categories: NZ Women's KO Cup

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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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