O’Brien Shield changes hands for second time this season as Phoenix claim win

posted in: Central League, News

The Wellington Phoenix’s name is going to be engraved on the O’Brien Shield for the first time.

The Phoenix reserves have claimed the challenge trophy after beating Waterside Karori 3-1 at Karori Park in round 10 of the Central League.

Goals from Josh Tollervey and Dan McKay gave the reserves a 2-0 halftime lead before Josh Rudland’s thumping header sealed the win five minutes from full-time.

The O’Brien Shield was presented to Capital Football in 1991 by Seatoun AFC to honour their long-serving player and administrator Bob O’Brien, and has been played for in the Central League since 1992.

It is similar to rugby’s Ranfurly Shield with the holders putting the prize up for grabs in their home fixtures.

Between 1992 and 2007, the shield was played for 197 times with Wainuiomata (1994-95), Miramar Rangers (2004-05) and Western Suburbs (2006-07) sharing the record for the longest tenure, with 13 successful defences each.

The Phoenix reserves lifted the O’Brien Shield in 2019, but that was when they were playing as Lower Hutt City.

They relinquished the trophy at their first defence four years ago, losing the shield to Miramar Rangers, who held it until last month.

The reserves’ first defence will be against Miramar Rangers next Wednesday (June 21) at Fraser Park.

If Rangers win, it’ll take the shield back to where it started the 2023 season, as Rangers lost it to Waterside Karori in May.

Main photo: The Phoenix claim the shield. Photo courtesy of Wareham Sports Media.


Game played on Saturday June 10, 2023

Waterside Karori 1 (Tomas Alvarado 77′ pen)
Wellington Phoenix Reserves 3 (Josh Tollervey 2′, Dan McKay 29′, Josh Rudland 85′)

Match highlights



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