Cup football returns this weekend with some juicy ties to be played in the men’s and women’s national knockout competitions.
We’ve sorted some options out for those who want to squeeze in as many live games as possible as the Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup reaches its last eight, and the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup goes into its fourth round.
For the neutrals
If you’re looking for the games we’re picking to be the most entertaining, we suggest the following for football fans in the North:
First game of the day is at 11am in Hamilton where Wanderers, languishing at the bottom of the Lotto NRFL women’s premier division, get the chance to save their season with a cup win against Ellerslie at Porritt Stadium.
A semi-final berth in the Kate Sheppard Cup could spark a resurgence in form for the Waikato side.
The match will serve as a curtain-raiser to Wanderers’ men’s Chatham Cup tie at 2pm when they meet local rivals Ngaruawahia United who play three competition tiers below in the WaiBOP Premiership.
Forget league form – this is United’s game of the year and they’ll throw everything at Kale Herbert’s Blues.
The tastiest Chatham Cup of the weekend is at Shepherds Park at 2pm when 2016 and 2018 winners Birkenhead United host Auckland City.
City’s big lead at the top of the Northern League counts for nothing in a one-off cup tie. Expect some drama!
Meanwhile, to top a big cup weekend in the Waikato, Melville United will host Bay Olympic in their fourth round tie at Gower Park (2pm).
Blowing our own trumpet
Last week’s preview tipped:
“In (Lotto NRFL) Division 2, table toppers Onehunga Mangere United travel to Franklin United (3pm). It’s our pick for the game likely to produce the most goals.”
The result? An amazing 5-5 draw. We hope some of you followed our advice and headed south for this remarkable game.