Impressive Paroa swamps Westland United
Paroa continued their impressive start to the West Coast football season with an emphatic 9-1 win over Westland United. Westland have been one of the dominant sides of West Coast football in recent seasons and are the current holders of the Senior Men’s First Round trophy, but they were no match for Paroa.
Westland opened the scoring early with Callum Cadigan converting a penalty, however Paroa soon found their rhythm and began dominating in the midfield. By half-time Rob Orr had scored three times to give Paroa a solid lead. The second half saw a changed Westland team, with Peter Te Rakau relinquishing the goalkeeping jersey and moving further into attack. Paroa opened the scoring, and Kieran Russell was finally rewarded with his first goal. While the game was firmly in Paroa’s hands, Westland were still dangerous in attack and only a determined clearance off the line from Steve Eden kept the score at 4-1, preventing any sort of Westland comeback. Paroa kept dominating the game around midfield and Martin McDonald, a second half substitute, chipped in with two goals, one of which was a fantastic strike from well outside the Westland box. Harvey Rubbo capped off his man of the match display with a goal of his own. Westland United will feel their overall possession and man marking was poor. However, with Paroa’s solid defence, possession, passing in midfield and speed and confidence up front, any side would have struggled. This game was a clear ‘changing of the guard’ moment in West Coast football. In both of their games, Paroa have displayed their strength and depth and they will be a hard side to beat. They are in the dominant position in the First Round competition. Westland United and Grey United, last year’s top two teams, both lie at the bottom of the table without a point between them. Paroa now have a week off, before they face Grey United on May 14.
In the other game, Westport Cos faced Marist, in Westport. Westport have always been a hard team to beat at home, especially now they are the current holders of the Sarah Clearwater Trophy, which is played for every time the holders play at home. The conditions were terrible , with rain and hail making play difficult, however Marist picked up from last week with a great volley from the edge of the box from David Lowe finding the net, to give them an early lead. Jamie Floyd pulled one back for Westport, to it level the score at half-time. Westport had most of the possession, but Marist worked hard and their defence scrambled well and held strong. Ethan Kelleher, Marist goalkeeper, put in a good performance, with lots of saves. Unfortunately for Marist and their defence, Laurie Ward scored a goal from distance, right at the death to clinch a 2-1 victory and retain the trophy.
Next weekend Paroa have a bye, giving the rest of the teams a chance to catch up. After two good performances, Marist will be optimistic they can get a positive result against Westland United, in the early game at 12.30pm at Arthur Fong Park. Grey United will be looking to get off the mark and get their first goal of the season against Westport Cos, at 2.30pm.
The women’s league had a bye at the weekend, however action resumes on Sunday. Westland United put in a great performance last week with only seven players, so they will be hoping that with a full quota of players they can get a result against Dragons in the early game at 12.00pm at Arthur Fong. In the later game at 1.15pm Comets will aim to continue their early form against Goblins.