Dory Perchig memorial game took place in Greymouth
Arthur Fong hosted all eight West Coast football teams on Sunday, with two games each in the men’s and women’s. Grey United and Westport Cos kicked off in the early men’s game. Grey United were looking to get their season off to a great start after plenty of hard work in the pre-season, but also had the incentive of competing for the inaugural Dory Perchig memorial trophy. Dory was a long-time friend and teammate of Grey United, and he will be long remembered in the West Coast football community.
The game started well for Grey United, with some good possession and pressure in attack. They finally got themselves off the mark after James McLean won the ball outside the Westport penalty box and thumped it past the outstretched arm of Jake Neaves in the Westport goal. Grey United’s second and third goals were almost identical, with two corners swung in by McLean both headed home by Scott Honey. Grey United knew that a fightback was always on the cards, after Westport came back from 4-0 the week previous to draw. Pete Te Rakau was brought on as a sub by Westport and had a definite impact on the game, playing a through ball to Josh Roche to score his second of the season. The second half was a bit more scrappy and stretched, with few real clear chances for either side. McLean had a deflected shot hit the upright, but otherwise Grey United were content to see the game out. Caleb Anderson in the Grey United attack kept the Westport defence busy and on their toes the whole game, in a constant battle with Krishnal Reddy. Anderson and Reddy were awarded their respective player of the days. The Dory Perchig memorial trophy will stay in Greymouth for the next year, and will be played for again between these two sides the first time they meet at Arthur Fong.
The second men’s game saw Paroa take on Marist. The first half was a very even affair with both sides having chances. Matt Wakeford tested Ethan Kelleher in the Marist goal early on. Marist’s best chance in the first was a bouncing free from Josh Furze that forces Niki Emery into a save. Emery and Kelleher were both on form, keeping the score 0-0 until half time. Kelleher in particular was quick off his line to clear Paroa through balls several times throughout the game. The second half started much the same, with both sides evenly matched. Marist had plenty of pressure in attack, but no real clear chances, until Furze found himself 1 on 1 with Emery, only to chip the ball right into Emery’s arms. Shortly after Paroa finally got the one bit of luck that both sides were waiting on when, after a cross into the Marist box wasn’t cleared effectively, the ball fell right to Wakeford who finished into the bottom left corner for his third goal of the season. Kye Thomson forced Emery into a fingertip save with a cracking shot from outside the box as Marist chased an equaliser. Emery made yet another fine save, this time at his near post after a great shot by Tamati Taewa, to finish the game with a deserved clean sheet. Despite the goalkeeping performance, Martin McDonald was awarded Paroa’s player of the day, which could easily have gone to either of the central midfield pairing of McDonald and Marcus Zintl. Marist will be disappointed with the result, though not the fine performance. Furze, Marist’s player of the day, was a constant threat throughout the game and was unlucky not to come away with a goal.
Next up, Westport Cos host Marist at Arthur Fong. Coronation Park has been a fortress for Westport, with 10 consecutive defences of the Sarah Clearwater trophy over 21 months, so with the game being rescheduled to Arthur Fong, there will not be a better opportunity Marist to finally reclaim the trophy. Kick off is 12.30pm. A win for Paroa in the 2.30pm kick off against Grey United will seal the First Round Trophy once again.
The women’s league finally got underway for all four teams. In the early kick off, the Dragons showed they are going to continue their fine form from the 6-a- side tournament into the season proper. They had a 2-0 win over the Goblins, with the goals coming from Hetty Jenkins and Belle Boyle. The Dragon’s Boyle and the Goblins’ Kieran McCauley got player of the day for their sides.
Last year’s First Round trophy winners Westland United faced the Comets in the late game. Westland United led 2-0 at half time, after goals from Celine Stokowski and their player of the day Ngawai Tahi. Rosa Cooper, Comet’s player of the day, scored a consolation with a cracking shot across the face of the goal, for the game to finish 2-1.
Today’s two winners, the Dragons and Westland United, face each other at 12pm next week, with the Goblins and Comets playing at 1.15pm.