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Who laughs when?

Northern Lights 1, Canterbury United Pride 2
McFetridge Park, Auckland, October 14 2018

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As weekends go, that one wasn’t particularly ideal. Ok, sure, there are lots of people in the world who are forced to endure much worse. Wars, diseases, famines, brutal dictatorships, and then there are the poor saps who have to live in America with the Mango Mussolini as their president. So I shouldn’t really complain. But hey, this is football, possession of a sense of perspective is strictly optional.

The ordeal started yesterday, when I thought I was being fox cunning by scheduling a round of golf for when WaiBOP was playing Capital in Petone. That way I wouldn’t be sitting on Twitter hitting refresh and waiting for my little dreams to get crushed like a turkey waiting for Christmas. Instead I would enjoy my round of golf without worrying and check my phone in the clubhouse at the end of the round.

My mistake was putting my phone in my golf bag rather than leaving it in the car.

First I started peeking after I finished playing each hole. On about the 9th or 10th tee I saw that WaiBOP had a one goal lead. This put a skip in my step, I started smashing drives and hitting my rescue, a club I have really been struggling with up until now, as sweetly as a Pellegrini backheel.

After a while though, a quick look after each hole wasn’t enough. I had to check in after each shot. That was fine for a while – as the round progressed I was starting to feel even more on top of the world! Then, about halfway down the 17th fairway I saw that Capital had equalised in the 90th minute. It literally felt like a punch in the guts.

Then on the 17th green I saw that it had finished 2-1 to Capital. I actually wanted to cry – not for myself and the ribbing (mostly from Ella) I will almost certainly endure on The Return Fixture this week, although obviously that was a consideration, but much more for the players. It must have been absolutely gut wrenching for them.

At least for them though, that was the end of the torture. For me, the bad karma was only just getting started.

Those of you who listen to the podcast will no doubt be aware of our tipping competition and how far behind in it I am slipping. Well, that situation was about to get much, much worse as events unfolded both at Massey University and McFetridge Park.

In terms of the latter, it was a top of the table clash worthy of the name that I was very much looking forward to attending. And it didn’t disappoint. Both sides went at each other hammer and tongs and, as most people predicted, anything could have happened.

Canterbury got off to a good start, but after a time it was Northern very much in the ascendency looking all the world like a goal was coming – and it was. Claudia Bunge giving her side the lead just shy of the 20 minute mark.

Whitney Hepburn hit back for the visitors 17 minutes later to send the sides into half time with honours even.

The second half seesawed a bit, with Northern continuing to look good but the home side winning would have meant a point for me in the tipping comp so let’s face it – that was never going to happen! Instead Cody Taylor intercepted a bad pass and slotted, in what I’m sure was her plan all along, to give Ella her second perfect score prediction of the day after also correctly guessing that Auckland would win 6-0 in Palmerston North.

It’s not quite time to give up though of course. The season isn’t halfway through just yet, there is plenty more time for me to give as good as I get and, for these two sides, they will meet again at least once more – and I still suspect twice.

As the old Tudor saying goes (in slightly more sexist language than this) – the one who laughs last, laughs longest.

Categories: NZ Women's National League

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: http://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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