Quality games open West Coast football
The West Coast senior football first round competition started for both the men’s and women’s leagues on Sunday.
Grey United made their first trip north for the season to face Westport Cos. In a quality game, Westport came out as 3-1 winners. After a close first half, Westport pulled away in the second half, coming out the stronger side. Grey United finished well with a goal from young Jonathan Watts in his first game for the club. Westport’s goals came from Given Suleman, Michael Suleman and Dan Maloney. Westport have a bye next week while Grey United are back at Arthur Fong and will hope to give Paroa their first solid test of the season.
Paroa hosted Westland United at Arthur Fong in what turned out to be more of a training game for Paroa. This is a new Westland side after they sat out last year’s whole season. They made the trip with ten players for the first half and nine for the second. Unfortunately, they came up across a very strong Paroa wide who obviously were keen to get their season going. Westland were 5-0 down at half-time, but after going down to 9 men and playing into the wind, they ended up 18-0 down at full-time. The scoreline aside, this Westland team have earned plenty of credit for their positivity and enthusiasm. Ben Anderson was the stand out performer for Paroa, scoring nine of their goals. Last season’s top scorer finished the entire season with 11. Philip Murphy (2), Anton Merkushev (2), Martin McDonald (2), Billy Dempster, Clint Blanch and James Murphy scored the rest.
Westland United can look forward to hosting last season’s dominant side, Marist, in Hokitika next Sunday
The Goblins played Westland United in the early women’s game in the new 7-a-side format. The teams have reduced numbers, but the field is the same size as the 9-a-side format, giving the players plenty of room. Westland’s women were also missing a few key players and struggled with their attack. Despite some persistent defending in the first half, the Goblins were able to score three times. Casey Neil came out of the Westland goal, into midfield, for the second half and they did gain some momentum up front. They had their chances after a few breakaway attacks, but they couldn’t put their chances away, in part due to some great goalkeeping in the Goblins net. Eve Findlay scored twice for the Goblins and also set up Connie Sue for her goal with an excellent cross. Lucy Hands beat a number of players before putting away her well-deserved goal. Kate Campbell earned the Goblin’s player of the day in the 4-0 win and Ngawai Tahi was Westland’s.
The Dragons have enthusiastically entered two teams for the beginning of the season, and they faced off against each other in the late kick-off. With a strong squad, they obviously divided themselves equally into the Dragons White and Dragons Green, as both sides could only manage one goal apiece. Lakin Richardson and Rebecca Prattley scored the goals.