Northern Rovers celebrated their title as the best women’s team in the north after surviving a late charge from Ellerslie in their latest game.
The champions were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw while last year’s champions, Eastern Suburbs, went into second place in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League with a 6-1 rout of high-flying Auckland United.
Here’s how the latest round of WPL games unfolded:
Champions forced to settle for a draw before celebrations begin
Northern Rovers survived a late scare but hung on to keep their unbeaten record in the Women’s Premier League with a 2-2 home draw against Ellerslie.
The newly-elected champions went behind after only six minutes when Britney Cunningham-Lee put the visitors ahead at McFetridge Park.
Half an hour later, Rovers defender Michaela Foster levelled with her 10th goal of the season.
In the second spell, Suya Haering gave Rovers the lead for the first time in the match, finding the net in the 71st minute.
But Ellerslie fought back and found an equaliser through Sarah Carpenter in the 87th minute.
Rovers held their nerve to play out the draw, and keep their season-long unbeaten record.
The final whistle blew — and the title celebrations began.
Next weekend, Rovers go into the semi-finals of the Kate Sheppard Cup, when they face Dunedin City Royals, with hopes of completing a league/cup double.
First half blitz gives Suburbs big win against United
Eastern Suburbs took apart Auckland United with a five-goal blitz in the first half of their WPL match at Madills Farm.
Suburbs won the match 6-1, leap-frogging United into second place on the table.
The key to the win was a red hot start to the match and a first-half hat-trick scored by Suburbs’ leading goalscorer Juliette Lucas.
Striker Jade Parris got the opener in the first minute, and Taylor O’Brien made it 2-0 after only 10 minutes.
United fought back and scored in the 12th minute through Prue Catton.
But that was the signal for Lucas to hit her straps and she scored a hat-trick in a 16-minute burst before half-time.
Lucas hit the net in the 25th, 33rd and 41st minutes, giving Suburbs an unassailable lead.
In the second spell, United restricted last year’s cJuliehampions to a single goal, scored by Parris in the 50th minute, but the final margin was United’s worst result of the season.
Watch the match replay
The game was live streamed by ESAFC’s YouTube channel:
Springs fight back to overcome two-goal deficit
Western Springs clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to beat Hamilton Wanderers 4-2 at Porritt Stadium, with all six goals coming before half-time.
Wanderers took the lead through Anna Fullerton after 18 minutes and then added a second through striker Helen Arjomandi three minutes later.
Rocked, the visitors mounted a fightback that produced four goals in less than 10 minutes.
Four players all got on the scoresheet — Lily Taitimu, Sam Tawharu, Anija Irvine, Rina Hirano — between the 28th and 41st minutes to give Western Springs a 4-2 lead at half-time.
In the second half, 10 players came onto the pitch as substitutes, five from each side, but both sides tightened their rearguard and there was no further addition to the score.
Rangers beat Tauranga City for fifth win of season
A clean sheet by West Coast Rangers ensured the side was able to beat bottom side Tauranga City 2-0 at Fred Taylor Park.
Despite their lowly ranking on the WPL table, the Rangers defence has conceded fewer goals this year than the likes of Eastern Suburbs, Auckland United and Ellerslie.
The strong defence formed the platform for their latest win, with Chloe Bellamy scoring both their goals with one in each half.
Bellamy becomes Rangers’ leading scorer this year with a tally of four.
Games played Sunday August 14, 2022
Eastern Suburbs 6 (Jade Parris 1′, 50′, Tayla O’Brien10′, Juliette Lucas 25′, 33′, 41′)
Auckland United 1 (Prue Catton 12′)
Northern Rovers 2 (Michaela Foster 36′, Suya Haering 71′)
Ellerslie 2 (Britney Cunningham-Lee 6′, Sarah Carpenter 87′)
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Anna Fullterton 18′, Helen Arjomandi 21′)
Western Springs 4 (Lily Taitimu 28′, Sam Tawharu 30′, Anija Irvine 36′, Rina Hirano 37′)
West Coast Rangers 2 (Chloe Bellamy 11′, 58′)
Tauranga City 0