Goal difference separates three clubs leading Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship

By Joan Grey

It’s tight at the top of the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship ladder, with Fencibles United, Franklin United, and Onehunga Sports all locked together on 16 points.

They are separated only by goal difference, and Tauranga City hover only a point behind the trio.

Five of the eight teams are within three points of each other at the top of the table, and the battle for the lead is still wide-open.

Game of the week 

Manukau United lock horns with Onehunga Sports at Walter Massey Park on Sunday. The two clubs, separated by a short trip over the Mangere Bridge, will regard this as a local derby.

Onehunga Sports will arrive with winning momentum, having defeated strong opponents Fencibles and Otumoetai in their last two matches.

At the helm of Onehunga Sports stands skipper Hannah Carter, who wears the green and black for her fifth season at the club.

Carter plays centre-back, a position she evolved into during her teenage years when she played alongside legendary former Football Fern centre-back Terry McCahill at Lynn Avon United in the early 2010s.

Manukau United, though at the foot of the table, have proven to be resilient contenders with narrow losses and two draws with table leaders Franklin United.

In the earlier fixture between Manukau and Onehunga, a 90th-minute penalty saw Onehunga claim a 1-0 win.

Player to watch

Onehunga Sports’ Sivitha ‘Sivi’ Boyce (28) is a workhorse in the midfield with crucial tackles and an unwavering work ethic.

Boyce is a former U-17 New Zealand international player who competed in the 2010 U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In her high school years, she played for the National Premier Secondary Schools title-winners Mount Albert Grammar First XI.

Bold prediction 

Franklin United host Central United on home territory at 1pm on Sunday.

Franklin is nine points ahead of Central on the ladder and appear to have the upper hand on paper.

But the previous encounter between the sides resulted in a 1-1 stalemate, and the repeat fixture could be close too.

My inclination is towards a 2-1 victory for Franklin.


Games to be played on Sunday May 28, 2023

Fencibles United v Tauranga City
William Green Domain, Pakuranga, 1pm

Franklin United v Central United
Drury Sports Complex, Drury, 1pm

Manukau United v Onehunga Sports
Walter Massey Park, Mangere, 1pm

Otumoetai v Te Atatu
Fergusson Park, Otumoetai, 1pm

Joan Grey

Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football. She attends ACG Strathallan College and plays football for Franklin United.

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