PREVIEW: The games to follow in this weekend’s Kate Sheppard Cup ties

With quarter-final places at stake, the Kate Sheppard Cup provides players and supporters with dreams of glory when the third round is contested at the weekend.

The draw has conjured some interesting match-ups.

Recent cup winners Eastern Suburbs and Auckland United meet at Madills Farm, ensuring that at least one big gun will drop out.

On Sunday, Northern Rovers and Franklin United meet at McFetridge Park, having postponed their scheduled fixture in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship to meet in the cup.

Whatever happens there, a club from the Northern region’s second tier will be in the last eight.

What else should you book looking for this weekend?

Our writers Joan Grey, Jack Sharp and Logan Smith pick the cup ties they think could be special …

Hibiscus Coast v Western Springs

Hibiscus Coast have struggled to make their mark in past Kate Sheppard Cup competitions, unable to get past the second round in any of the last 10 years.

This year, they’ve sailed through to round three.

And I’m picking Hibiscus to coast to new heights when they play defending cup holders Western Springs on Friday night.

Hibiscus Coast have been in surging form recently, beating 2019 cup winners Eastern Suburbs in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premiership last time out.

Spearheading their charge is the league’s leading goalscorer, Danica Urlich-Beech, who has netted 11 goals in as many rounds.

Three weeks ago, Hibiscus hooked a 4-2 victory over Western Springs.

Hibiscus could make waves and reach their first Kate Sheppard Cup quarter-final.

— Joan Grey

Hibiscus Coast’s Danica Urlich-Beech brings the ball down with a defender on her back. Photo: Jackie Tran Van / Phototek.

Petone v Wellington Phoenix Reserves

Petone’s late morning match against the Wellington Phoenix Reserves on Saturday presents all manner of opportunities for both clubs.

Petone, who are unbeaten in the Women’s Central League, can test themselves against the up-and-coming women players at the Phoenix, who are able to enter the cup for the first time this year (providing they don’t use players under professional contracts).

No matter who wins, reaching the quarter-finals will be special and provide the capital with hopes of a local side winning the Kate Sheppard Cup for only the second time in its history.

The last time was in 2022 when Wellington United won the 2021 Cup (it was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

READ MORE: Stunning goal by futsal Fern takes Kate Sheppard Cup to Wellington for first time >>>>

One of United’s players in that final was Pepi Olliver-Bell (19), who has since joined Petone. Her big game experience will be more than useful on Saturday.

The match will be streamed free and live by FIFA+, starting at 11am.

— Jack Sharp

Otago University v Dunedin City Royals

Otago University and Dunedin City Royals have become used to playing each other in recent years, facing off five times in 2023 and with at least four head-to-head clashes this year as well, with both qualifying for the Women’s South Island League.

While the Royals have had a stranglehold over women’s football in Otago for many years, the tide started to turn last year with University pushing them to the limit and eventually holding them to a 2-2 draw near the end of last season.

Both have had significant squad changes this year, but the scene nonetheless looks set for more well-contested matches between the teams, with the Royals only winning their first meeting with a late goal.

We could be in store for another tense showdown this weekend — in fact, I think the Royals may need penalties to squeeze through this time.

— Logan Smith

Fixtures

Game to be played on Friday June 14, 2024

Western Springs v Hibiscus Coast
Seddon Fields, Westmere, 7pm

Games to be played on Saturday June 15, 2024

Ellerslie v West Coast Rangers
Michaels Ave, Ellerslie, 2pm

Eastern Suburbs v Auckland United
Madills Farm, St Heliers, 1pm

Palmerston North Marist v Waterside Karori
Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North, 11.30am

Petone v Wellington Phoenix Reserves
Petone Memorial Park, Petone, 11am

Cashmere Technical v Nelson Suburbs 
Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 12pm

Otago University v Dunedin City Royals
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 1pm

Game to be played on Sunday June 16, 2024

Northern Rovers v Franklin United
McFetridge Park, Glenfield, 1pm

Past rounds

RESULTS: Second round of 2024 Kate Sheppard Cup >>>>

RESULTS: First round of 2024 Kate Sheppard Cup >>>>

Joan Grey

Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football.

Logan Smith

Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.

Jack Sharp

Jack Sharp is a long-time follower of club football in New Zealand and is a volunteer writer for Friends of Football. You can show your appreciation for his work by buying him a coffee.

Key dates

Quarter-finals
Weekend of July 5-7, 2024

Semi-finals
Weekend of August 16-18, 2024

Final
Sunday September 8, 2024

Western Springs … winners of the 2023 Kate Sheppard Cup. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

All the past winners — Kate Sheppard Cup

1994 Nomads United (Christchurch)
1995 Waikato Unicol (Hamilton)
1996 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
1997 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1998 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1999 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2000 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2001 Ellerslie (Auckland)
2002 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2003 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2004 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2005 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2006 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2007 Western Springs (Auckland)
2008 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)

2009 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2010 Claudelands Rovers (Hamilton)
2011 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2012 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2013 Coastal Spirit (Christchurch)
2014 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2015 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2016 Forrest Hill Milford United (Auckland)
2017 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2018 Dunedin Technical (Dunedin)
2019 Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
2021 Wellington United (Wellington)
2022 Auckland United (Auckland)
2023 Western Springs (Auckland)

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