PREVIEW: Title rivals go head to head in Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship

By Jack Sharp

The two top teams go head to head this weekend in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship.

Onehunga Sports and Tauranga Moana meet at Otumoetai’s Fergusson Park in a game that will decide who leads the competition on Sunday night.

Both sides have been impressive this season, becoming the competition’s top goalscoring units, and with Onehunga also providing the tightest defence.

Tauranga Moana’s Grace Duncan goes into the game in fine form, having scored a hat-trick against Central United last weekend, while Onehunga Sports main goal threat is Annie Byrne, who has hit the net 10 times already this year.

Third-placed Franklin United — the main threat to the leading pair — have no league fixture this weekend, as they go into the quarter-finals of the Kate Sheppard Cup, hosting cup holders Western Springs.

When Franklin return to the championship schedule, they’ll have two games in hand on their title rivals.

In other games this weekend, the bottom four sides meet each other, providing opportunities for some evenly-balanced matches.

Golden Boot

16 — Britney Cunningham-Lee (Franklin United)
10 — Annie Byrne (Onehunga Sports)
9 — Grace Duncan (Tauranga Moana), Sarah Carpenter (Franklin United)
8 — Holly Patterson (Onehunga Sports)
7 — Kerri-Ann Jones (Tauranga Moana), Laura Bennett (Melville United),
6 — Ivy Calonne (Northern Rovers), Pip Meo (Onehunga Sports)
5 — Jaime Govind (Birkenhead United), Sylvia McDougall (Central United), Briana Osborne (Tauranga Moana), Mia Humphrey (Melville United)

Fixtures

Games to be played on Sunday July 7, 2024

Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship

Melville United v Central United
Gower Park, Hamilton, 1pm

Tauranga Moana v Onehunga Sports
Fergusson Park, Otumoetai, 1pm

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

Birkenhead United v Franklin United
Postponed due to Franklin United’s participation in Kate Sheppard Cup

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.

This story was first published on July 6, 2024.

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