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Waterside Karori 1, Petone 0
Wakefield Park, Wellington, April 8 2018

If I was to have a favourite club in Wellington, there is a solid argument for it to be Waterside Karori. Formed by wharfies almost 100 years ago when you wouldn’t dare set foot on the Wellington waterfront without a ‘union ticket’, their labour movement links are without question.

So it was fitting that I was able to catch their women’s first tem in Capital Premier (the tier below W-League) action when I was in our nation’s capital last weekend, serving in my role as a freshly elected representative on the Policy Council of the Labour Party.

I do have a few regrets though. One is that I didn’t get to see ITBOTN writer Ella’s Victoria University side in action like I wanted to – they were playing up on the Kapiti Coast and the 1pm kick-off didn’t fit with my schedule. Another is that I missed the opening round of NRFL Women’s Premier – which looked like it produced some rather interesting results! And lastly, it was a small pity that my only real option was Wakefield Park instead of a different Wellington venue I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing before.

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Having said that however, Island Bay’s football Mecca was much more pleasant than its usual self on this occasion. The breeze was light enough that it was hardly noticeable and at one point when the sun was out I even found myself fleetingly considering taking my jumper off before dismissing the thought as pure insanity approximately a thousandth of a nanosecond later…

I also got to catch up with some great friends on the sideline. Another ITBOTN writer Phil Clayton was there, as was Dave Linott, an awesome Wellington photographer I bump into at some of the bigger games, and to top it all off the Journeyfan’s Dave Webster very generously picked me up from outside Parliament, took me to the game and dispatched me at the airport afterwards!

You can check out Dave’s take on the game here.

As he says, it wasn’t the most thrilling of encounters, but it was interesting nonetheless. There was a very good player I know reasonably well from Capital’s National Women’s League side on each team. Waterside Karori had Katie Barrott, while Petone had Libby Boobyer, and one of the highlights of the match was an interesting battle between the two of them that after following it with interest for 90 minutes I’m not sure I would be prepared to choose a winner!

I guess both would have preferred the three points over any individual bragging rights anyway!

On that front, it was certainly Barrott who would be the happier of the two.

The wharfies were fairly dominant for the majority of proceedings, and when Courtney Stone netted for them in the opening three minutes it was looking like it might be a long day at the office for Petone. But the visitors settled into their work a bit better after that and, in part thanks to some nice goalkeeping from Petone stopper Ariana Gray and in part thanks to an intervention from the right hand upright towards the end of the second stanza, no further additions to the scoreboard were made.

After the match, there was a jubilant team photo for the home side, featuring a very cute little pooch who was dressed in a very cute little mini wharfies shirt. It’s been a long time since I have featured a doggy pic on this site, but I couldn’t resist this one!

Back to the NRFL this weekend, but I am also planning a return to Capital Premier tacked on to another trip South in a few weeks…

Categories: Other NZ Federation Leagues

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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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