Despite a few shock results in early rounds, almost all the 16 surviving clubs in this year’s Chatham Cup have cup-fighting pedigrees.
The 16 clubs who will battle out round four this weekend include:
- The current holders, Cashmere Technical, and the last runners-up, Miramar Rangers.
- 2019 winners Napier City Rovers and that year’s runners-up, Melville United.
- 2016 and 2018 winners Birkenhead United.
- 2019 semi-finalists Bay Olympic.
- 2021 semi-finals Western Suburbs.
- 2015 winners Eastern Suburbs.
This year, there’s every chance for football’s oldest club trophy to get a new name on it.
Auckland City are running away with the Northern League title and it would come as little surprise to see the Navy Blues add the Chatham Cup to their achievements.
Bay Olympic would delight in a Chatham Cup victory to rekindle memories of the 1970 Cup/National League double achieved by one of their founding clubs, Blockhouse Bay.
Hamilton Wanderers are hungry to win a national trophy, especially having gone so close to landing the Kate Sheppard Cup with their women’s team, beaten finalists in the last competition.
Melville United went close in 2019, losing the final 3-2 to Napier City Rovers, and their Northern League form suggests they are strong enough to mount a challenge this year.
First, they have to get past Waiheke United, a team that thrives on passion and excitement — the perfect recipe for causing a cup upset.
Pedigrees and form suggest the quarter-final draw next week will feature the heavyweights of football.
But the wonder of the cup is that anything can happen once the players line up for the kick-off …
Here are the games to follow this weekend:
Chatham Cup (4th round)
Bay Olympic v Auckland City
Olympic Park, Auckland, 2pm
Melville United v Waiheke United
Gower Park, Hamilton 2pm
Auckland United v Hamilton Wanderers
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 2pm
Miramar Rangers v Western Suburbs
David Farrington Park, Wellington, 2pm
Cashmere Technical v Green Island
Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 12pm
Dunedin City Royals v Nelson Suburbs
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 12.30pm
Napier City Rovers v Wellington Olympic
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm
Birkenhead United v Eastern Suburbs
This game has been postponed in line with New Zealand Football’s COVID-19 protocols.