By Jonno Ross
Football’s all about the games that really matter … and for fans of the women’s game, there’s no more important match than Sunday’s top-of-the-table fixture in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.
Unbeaten Northern Rangers can all but wrap up the competition with a win against nearest rivals Western Springs.
But a slip up will set up a tense conclusion to the league season for both clubs.
Here’s how the WPL round looks for the weekend:
Northern Rovers (1st) v Western Springs (2nd)
McFetridge Park, Auckland
We have the biggest game of the competition this weekend, with first-placed Northern Rovers facing second-placed Western Springs.
Northern Rovers remain undefeated this season, having played 11, won 10 and drawn one.
Interestingly enough, the game they drew was with this weekend’s opponents, Western Springs, who have proven to be Rovers’ toughest opponents this season.
They couldn’t be separated in the league, where they drew 0-0, or within 90 minutes in their Kate Sheppard Cup clash, where extra time was required before Rovers won 2-1, scoring the winner in the 105th minute.
The league title is on the line for both teams this weekend.
A win for Rovers would see them go nine points clear at the top with a game in hand over Western Springs.
A win for Springs would close the gap to just three points, keeping the pressure on in this season’s title challenge.
Exciting game this week; a must-see for fans of women’s football.
Bold prediction: I tip a 2-1 win to the visitors.
Other fixtures (with current league placings)
Auckland United (3rd) v Ellerslie (6th)
Keith Hay Park, Auckland, 1pm
Hamilton Wanderers (7th) v West Coast Rangers (5th)
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton, 1pm
Tauranga City (8th) v Eastern Suburbs (4th)
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 3pm
How they stand
Last weekend’s games
Friends of Football writer Jonno Ross is a former New Zealand U-20 goalkeeper who is the team manager for Mount Albert Ponsonby. He supports the All Whites, the Football Ferns, the Wellington Phoenix and Arsenal.