SAPPHIRES FAIL TO SHINE IN SEATOUN SUN
Monday 16 March 2020
Words : Dave Webster \ WUAFC Media
Wellington United Sapphires went down 3-0 to W-League Seatoun in the first round of the Kelly Cup on Saturday.
The Kelly Cup is the oldest Women's Football trophy in New Zealand entering its 47th year in 2020.
The Sapphires, who have an average age of 19 (or 16 if you take out the three more experienced players in the squad) and will compete in the Capital Premier Division this season, seemed a bit overawed by their older opponents from a higher division and never really settled into a good rhythm. This was in part due to the solid defence of Seatoun, which included 11 time Kelly Cup winner, Jacqui Goble, Chelsea Ferrier and ex Wellington United Diamond Sam Kendrick.
Buoyed by this defence, Seatoun set up camp in the United half and almost went ahead in the 10th minute through a break down the right flank, but Seatoun captain and an Ex Wellington United player Hannah Wignall was unable to connect cleanly with the cross and saw the ball head wide of the goal. It was another ex Wellington United player, Margo Kilkenny-Brown, that broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a similar move.
As the game was meandering towards half time, Seatoun produced two goals in two minutes which effectively sealed the game. The first went to Kilkenny-Brown again when her shot from the edge of the penalty area evaded the grasp of Sapphire's keeper Scarlett Fraser and found the back of the net. A minute later Grace Surridge received the ball just outside the penalty area and hit a speculative lob which went high and landed just inside the far post to make it 3-0.
The Sapphires obviously got a bit of a blast from coach Guillermo Schiltenwolf at half time as they came out and started playing more of the type of football you would expect from them. Yet they were still unable to break down the Seatoun defence. They did manage to get the ball over the line with the last kick off the game, but it was ruled out for offside.
The Sapphires will now enter the Kelly Cup Bowl competition.
The Diamonds progressed to the next round of the Kelly Cup after Island Bay United defaulted to them
Kelly Cup results
Seatoun 3 Wellington United Sapphires 0
Wellington United Diamonds 3 Island Bay United 0 (Default)
North Wellington 5 Palmerston North Marist 1
Western Suburbs 8 Brooklyn Northern United 0
Petone 3 Victoria University 2
Petone Reserves 0 Waterside Karori 1
Wairarapa United 3 Kapiti Coast United 0 (Default)