Canterbury secure final spot

Canterbury will now look to secure home advantage for the final (Photosport)

Defending champions the Canterbury United Pride confirmed their spot in the National Women’s League final with a win on Saturday and another result going their way but still have work to do to ensure they play it at home.

In the chasing pack, Auckland will be frustrated at dropping points in Dunedin – which is likely to prove fatal in their bid for the final – while in Sunday’s game the Northern Lights showed they’re hitting form at the right time with a clinical performance rewarded by a big win.

The Pride were far too strong for WaiBOP at English Park, piling on the pressure from the start.

They took the lead when a Gabi Rennie drive at Georgia Candy in the visitors’ goal deflected onto the post and in. Candy’s afternoon didn’t get any quieter from there and she worked hard behind a stubborn WaiBOP defence to keep her team in the game with some athletic saves.

Nicola Dominikovich slotted a classy finish on the stroke of half-time – and took another from an uncharacteristic Candy error to make it three late in the second half. That was the way it stayed to give Canterbury a comfortable win against a stoic WaiBOP performance and a place in the final.  

Southern United blasted into the lead against Auckland in the first minute with a sizzling Renee Bacon strike from outside the box after some fine build-up work. Not to be outdone, Auckland’s Maisy Dewell curled a shot into the top corner shortly afterward to equalise.

This was an entertaining match with both sides working hard to carve out chances but no one could find the back of the net again. It was a fair result on the day but left Auckland fretting about dropped points at the sharp end of the season.

They must now win both of their remaining matches and pray that Northern fail to pick up any more points.

Northern’s powerful performance in Palmerston North put them in the box seat to join the Pride in the final. They had a goal ruled out for offside early but made up for it shortly afterward when Ava Pritchard finished across the goalkeeper just ten minutes in.

Liz Savage pounced on a defensive error for the first of her two goals, split by Kelli Brown’s finish from a goalmouth scramble. Central kept fighting throughout but were unable to get on the scoresheet with the Lights in such determined mood.

For the table and more information on the National Women’s League please click here

National Women’s League Match Week 11

Canterbury United Pride 3 (Gabi Rennie 18’, Nicola Dominikovich 45 + 2’, 77’)
WaiBOP 0
HT: 2-0

Southern United 1 (Renee Bacon 1’)
Auckland 1 (Maisy Dewell 16’)
HT: 1-1

Central 0
Northern Lights 4 (Ava Pritchard 10’, Liz Savage 32’, 82’, Kelli Brown 69’)
HT: 0-2

BYE – Capital

Article added: Sunday 24 November 2019

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