The top three women’s teams in Auckland should make progress in this weekend’s Kate Sheppard Cup third round … but is there a chance of an upset?
Northern Rovers — who lead the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League — travel to Ellerslie and, on form, should go into the quarter-final draw next week.
Auckland United face a tricky trip to Fred Taylor Park where they’ll face a West Coast Rangers side eager to do well in the cup.
United should have too much strength but there’s little room for complacency.
For Eastern Suburbs, their chances of catching Northern Rovers and retaining their WPL title appear slim, so it won’t surprise if they make the Kate Sheppard Cup their priority.
Suburbs lost at the semi-final stage of the last Kate Sheppard Cup competition and Waikato Unicol should hold no fears.
If Unicol could pull off the win, it would rate as one of the biggest upsets in recent years.
Enjoy a double serving of cup football at Birkenhead
Make an afternoon of it at Birkenhead United’s Shepherds Park on Sunday where the club is hosting back-to-back cup ties.
The women’s team host Tauranga City in the Kate Sheppard Cup, kicking off at noon, and at 3pm, Birkenhead United play Central United in a third-round Chatham Cup tie.
Chances are both ties will provide plenty of goals and entertainment.
Cup holders ready to mount a challenge
Current cup holders Wellington United travel to Palmerston North to play Marist in a Saturday fixture.
From all accounts, United are strong again this season and it’ll be a major surprise if their name isn’t in the quarter-final draw on Tuesday.
Main photo: Wellington United … won the delayed final of the 2021 Kate Sheppard Cup earlier this year.
Birkenhead United v Tauranga City
Shepherds Park, Birkenhead, 12.00pm
Ellerslie v Northern Rovers
Michaels Ave, Ellerslie, 2pm
West Coast Rangers v Auckland United
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai, 2pm
Waikato Unicol v Eastern Suburbs
Jansen Park, Hamilton, 2pm
Karori v Petone
Karori Park, Wellington, 12.00pm
Marist Palmerston North v Wellington United
Memorial Park, Palmerston North, 12.30pm
Coastal Spirit v Cashmere Technical
St Albans Park, Christchurch, 11am
Dunedin City Royals v Otago University
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 12.30pm
The Kate Sheppard Cup is supported by the NZ Football Foundation.