By Logan Smith
South Island clubs are eyeing the chance to go into the nationwide draw stages of the Chatham Cup and Kate Sheppard Cup.
Saturday sees Roslyn-Wakari host Wanaka in Round 4 of the Chatham Cup, which also has a Sunday fixture where Canterbury giants Cashmere Technical and Christchurch United face off.
The sole Kate Sheppard Cup game in the South Island is the quarter-final between Dunedin City Royals and Coastal Spirit on Sunday.
Here’s how the games shape up:
Roslyn-Wakari v Wanaka (Chatham Cup)
Round 4 is certain to deliver a second-tier side to the nationwide quarterfinals, with Southern Premiership outfits Roslyn-Wakari and Wanaka drawn to meet.
Till this round, the Southern region and Mainland region cup ties were separate, but despite being able to draw Christchurch United and Cashmere Tech, Roslyn-Wakari and Wanaka managed to avoid both and will be quite pleased to be playing each other.
Roslyn-Wakari have beaten Thistle FC, Northern AFC and Otago University to get this far, while Wanaka have had quite the cup run, defeating local rivals Queenstown on away territory before upsetting Dunedin City Royals and Green Island, both of the Southern League, to unexpectedly book their place.
History awaits someone, regardless; home side Roslyn-Wakari have not reached the quarter-finals this century, while giant-killers Wanaka have never reached the quarter-finals before.
Cashmere Technical v Christchurch United (Chatham Cup)
It’s always an unmissable showdown when Cashmere Technical meet Christchurch United, and both sides find themselves once again in the top two Southern League positions, battling for the title.
Beyond this, both have ambition not just to compete but to succeed on the national stage.
While both are likely to qualify for the National League, the Chatham Cup is also a golden opportunity to accomplish those goals; something Cashmere Technical did in winning the 2021 edition.
Christchurch United defeated Parklands United, UC Football and Ferrymead Bays to arrive at this stage, while Cashmere Technical arguably faced a tougher route defeating Selwyn United, Coastal Spirit and Nelson Suburbs.
With United having six cup titles in its history and Technical having four, whoever prevails will have their sights on going all the way. But there can only be one.
Dunedin City Royals v Coastal Spirit (Kate Sheppard Cup)
Familiar foes at the top level of women’s football in the South Island, the Royals and Coastal are set for another intense clash with the prize of a semi-final place on the line.
Both are also fighting for supremacy in the Women’s South Island League, a home-and-away competition this year, in which Dunedin City Royals triumphed 4-2 against Coastal Spirit at the same ground just two weeks ago.
Hosts Dunedin City Royals beat local opponents Green Island, Roslyn-Wakari and Otago University en route to the quarter-finals, while Coastal Spirit knocked out UC Football, Cashmere Technical and Nelson Suburbs to clinch their place.
In 2021, it was Coastal who went on to the semi-finals, and fell at that hurdle to Hamilton Wanderers.
Last year, it was Dunedin City Royals who did so, and were knocked out by Northern Rovers.
The questions now are which club can secure that place on Sunday, and if that club can go all the way like both have in the past.
Game to be played on Saturday July 8, 2023
Roslyn Wakari v Wanaka
Ellis Park, Dunedin, 2pm
Games to be played on Sunday July 9, 2023
Cashmere Technical v Christchurch United
Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 2pm
Kate Sheppard Cup
Dunedin City Royals v Coastal Spirit
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 12.30pm
Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.