Suburbs, Springs sneak home as Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League restarts

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Reigning champions Eastern Suburbs and runners-up Western Springs have both won their opening day fixtures in the 2022 Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

They squeaked home with 1-0 wins, indicating this year’s competition could conjure some close results and a few upsets.

Meanwhile, Ellerslie’s Hollie Leona (main photo) snared the season’s first hat-trick as her side romped to a big win against league newcomers Tauranga City.

Video highlights

Our thanks to Northern Region Football for making the following video:

Tough day for Tauranga as Ellerslie run rampant

Promoted Tauranga City had a tough first day in the WPL, losing 6-0 to a rampant Ellerslie at Michaels Ave.

Leading the charge for Ellerslie was 25-year-old Hollie Leona who claimed the first hat-trick of the 2022 season with goals in the 3rd, 42nd and 49th minutes. Coach Ryan Shiffman decided she had done enough and subbed her off two minutes after completing her hat-trick.

Main photo: Hollie Leona … first day hat-trick.

Leona’s first two efforts had given the Aucklanders a 2-0 margin at half-time and both sides made use of all five subs allowed this season, bringing 10 fresh players into the game for the second half.

Ellerslie’s next goals came from Anita Trudgen on the hour and from Kathryn Gow midway through the second spell.

Substitute Cilla Fa’Afua capped the result with Ellerslie’s sixth goal a few minutes from full time.

Debutant scores winner for Western Springs

Sofia Garcia.

Playing her first senior game in New Zealand, debutant Sofia Garcia scored the only goal of the game as she helped her Western Springs side to a 1-0 win against Auckland United.

Garcia (23) has joined Springs from the Broadfield club in Colorado, United States.

The game at Keith Hay Park was locked 0-0 at the break but Springs found their way through the United defence within a couple of minutes of the restart.

Sophia Dyer cut the back into the path of Garcia who rifled her shot into the corner of the net.

The closeness of the result is encouraging for United who were sixth last year while Springs were the competition’s runners-up.

 

 

Suburbs off to winning start as they defend their title

Eastern Suburbs got their title defence off to a winning start in a closely-fought match against West Coast Rangers at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai.

Coach Stephen Hoyle fielded a strong Suburbs line-up but Rangers put up plenty of resistance, losing by a solitary goal.

The goal was scored by Tayla O’Brien, one of the league’s leading scorers last season, in the 8th minute.

The result suggests Rangers will be competitive this year.

Results

Matches played Sunday March 27, 2022

Auckland United 0
Western Springs 1 (Sofia Garcia 47′)

Ellerslie 6 (Hollie Leona 3′, 42′, 49′, Anita Trudgen 62′, Kathryn Gow 77′, Cilla Fa’Afua ’87)
Tauranga City 0

West Coast Rangers 0
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Tayla O’Brien 8′)

Hamilton Wanderers and Northern Rovers did not play due to Wanderers’ involvement in the Kate Sheppard Cup final.

Click here for our coverage of the Kate Sheppard Cup final >>>>

Standings

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