Westport Cos makes amazing comeback
The 2018 football season kicked off with an anti-climax with three of the four games being postponed due to heavy rain. Both the women’s games and Marist’s home game against Grey United have been rescheduled, however Paroa braved the journey north to face a much-changed Westport Cos side.
Westport’s new coach fielded seven debutants as they sought to once again retain the Sarah Clearwater challenge trophy, which has resided in Buller since the 2016 season. Paroa were determined to face the challenge, and with only nine male players, had to recruit Bonnie and Belinda Dempster to make their full quota of 11. Westport’s attack started out strong, but Paroa’s midfield got their passing game going to set up Matt Wakeford for the opener. The play went back and forth, with Niki Emery in the Paroa goal being forced into making some great saves. Paroa must have felt this was their day at half time when they were leading 3-0, and even more so when it went to 4-0 in the second half. Matt Wakefield scored his second of the day, with Marcus Zintl and Martin McDonald also getting one apiece. However, Westport’s spirit wasn’t broken, and they rarely take defeat at home lying down. Josh Roche scored one goal, and in his first ever game for Westport, young Oliver Hamilton got two. Westport kept going right up until the final whistle, with Jordan Coleman scoring in the 88th minute with a free kick from well outside the box, to leave the game finishing 4-4, and with both teams taking a point from the game.
Westport retain the Sarah Clearwater trophy once again, with their next defence coming against Marist in two weeks’ time. Next up for Westport is their first away trip of the season, down to face Grey United at Arthur Fong in the early game (12.30pm) on Sunday. This is a special game for both sides as they will be competing in the inaugural challenge game for the Dory Perchig memorial trophy, to remember a very loved friend and teammate. Later, at 2.30pm, Marist will be hoping to continue their success from the pre-season 6-a-side against Paroa.
Both women’s games from Sunday have been rescheduled to later in the season, so this Sunday will see the scheduled games take place. Dragons versus Goblins, a repeat of the 6-a-side final, kicks off at 12pm, with Westland United versus DP1 Comets kicking off at 1.15pm.