By Joan Grey
Onehunga Sports have claimed the top spot on the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship ladder, edging ahead of Fencibles United, who missed out on points in the last round owing to their postponed game.
Manukau United lifted themselves off the foot of the table in the previous round.
They hosted Tauranga City and pulled off an unexpected 2-0 triumph, leapfrogging them into sixth position.
Game of the week
Franklin are a strong force in the league but will need to conquer the expedition to Tauranga City’s home turf to triumph on Sunday.
In the Women’s Championship this season, the two Tauranga teams, Otumoetai and Tauranga City, have delivered on their home advantage.
The Tauranga teams have emerged victors in three-quarters of their home games against visitors from Auckland.
It’s a tougher test for the Tauranga teams when they make the reverse journey over the ranges to Auckland. Their efforts have been successful in only a third of their encounters in the City of Sails.
Player to watch
Fencibles’ midfielder Emily Gillion (23) has a repertoire of creative skills and feints to bewilder the opposition. She possesses a velvet touch and can make critical tackles.
Off the grass, Gillion has played for the Junior Futsal Ferns, and she represented New Zealand in the 2022 World University Football Championships held in Portugal.
Fencibles and Manukau United face each other on Sunday for the second time in the competition. Their initial clash resulted in a lopsided 6-1 Fencibles victory.
The odds are against Manukau United, but they will be feeling energised after harvesting their second victory of the season against Tauranga City last weekend.
It appears Manukau are finding their groove, and I believe the scoreline will be much closer than their previous encounter against Fencibles United.
A 2-0 victory to Fencibles seems plausible.
Last weekend, I predicted an upset, Manukau win 2-1 over Tauranga City. My prediction wasn’t far off. Manukau triumphed 2-0.
Game to be played on Friday June 30, 2023
Fencibles United v Manukau United
William Green Domain, Pakuranga, 7.30pm
Games to be played on Sunday July 2, 2023
Central United v Otumoetai
Kiwitea St, Sandringham, 1pm
Tauranga City v Franklin United
Links Ave, Mt Maunganui, 1pm
Te Atatu v Onehunga Sports
Te Atatu Peninsula Park, Te Atatu, 1pm
Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football. She plays football for Franklin United.