Three teams continue to dominate this year’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League and they all won games over the weekend.
Northern Rovers, Western Springs and Auckland United have pulled clear of the rest of the WPL clubs and it looks likely they will fight out the title.
Here’s our round-up of round seven:
Hirano hat-trick helps Springs to 4-0 win against Ellerslie
Western Springs overpowered Ellerslie with a second-half performance which produced all the goals in a 4-0 win at Michaels Ave.
The sides had failed to find the net in a scoreless first half but Rina Hirano inspired Springs to victory with a hat-trick.
She opened the scoring in the 61st minute.
Substitute Chloe Henderson doubled Western Springs’ lead in the 67th minute before Hirano added another goal to make it 3-0 after 74 minutes.
Hirano completed her hat-trick five minutes into added time.
The win took Springs into second place on the table, replacing Auckland United who had briefly held that spot after their win on Saturday.
Main photo: Rina Horano … her hat-trick inspired Springs to victory. File image: Phototek.
Tauranga make Rovers work for their win
Northern Rovers remain at the top of the Women’s Premier League after a 3-0 win at Tauranga City’s Links Ave ground.
Bottom-placed Tauranga might have expected a drubbing after conceding 27 goals in their opening six games.
However, they kept the league leaders contained for more than an hour in a game that would give the home side encouragement.
After turning around 0-0 at the break, Rovers finally took the lead through Chelsea Elliott, a former Bay of Plenty player returning to her home territory.
Rovers kept this slender lead, giving Tauranga hope of a fightback until defender Michaela Foster finished off the match with a penalty in the 88th minute and another goal two minutes into added time.
Foster is proving to be a key player in this Rovers line-up, having scored five times and anchoring a defence that has conceded only three goals all season.
She and Elliott joined Rovers earlier this season, from Hamilton Wanderers, after their relocation to Auckland.
Second-half fightback earns a point for Hamilton Wanderers against champions
Hamilton Wanderers fought back from being two goals down at half-time to share the points in a 2-2 draw with Eastern Suburbs at Porritt Stadium.
In-form striker Jade Parris gave Suburbs the lead in the 14th minute.
Saki Yoshida doubled Suburbs’ lead with a goal on the half-hour.
They went into the interval with the Aucklanders ahead 2-0 but Wanderers came out firing in the second half.
Ayla Koopu pulled back a goal a minute into the second spell, sparking a home team fight back.
Former Football Fern Helen Arjomandi found an equaliser in the 62nd minute.
Suburbs coach Stephen Hoyle worked his bench, bringing five fresh players on in the second half, but the home side repelled their efforts and the sides had to settled for a draw.
The point keeps Wanderers above bottom-placed Tauranga City while Suburbs are now nine points adrift of leaders Northern Rovers and any hopes of retaining their league title are diminishing by the week.
Auckland United v West Coast Rangers
Games played weekend of May 7-8, 2022
Auckland United 3 (Ruby Nathan 25′, own goal, Jess Philpot 70′)
West Coast Rangers 1 (Karly Knight 83′)
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Ayla Koopu 46′, Helen Arjomandi 62′)
Eastern Suburbs 2 (Jade Parris 14′, Saki Yoshida 30′)
Tauranga City 0
Northern Rovers 3 (Chelsea Elliott 65′, Michaela Foster 88′ pen, 90+2′)
Western Springs 4 (Rina Hirano 61′, 74′, 90+5′, Chloe Henderson 67′)
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