City re­bound in Kelly Cup

Upper Hutt Leader - - SPORT - MATTHEWTSO

Up­per Hutt City have bounced back from a heavy loss to East­ern Sub­urbs in last month’s Na­tional Knock­out Cup semi­fi­nal to claim the Kelly Cup for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

The 3-1 win over Welling­ton United on Satur­day capped off a suc­cess­ful sea­son for the City women’s team who also took out this year’s W-League foot­ball ti­tle and only lost two matches all sea­son.

City W-League coach Wendi Hen­der­son said her play­ers had well and truly re­cov­ered from their de­feat on August 27.

‘‘Last week’s match was big and the girls were a bit dis­ap­pointed [not to have won]. I could just tell they girls were up for it [this week].

‘‘We were de­ter­mined to fin­ish the sea­son on a high and de­fend our ti­tle. It’s a re­ally nice way to fin­ish off the sea­son.’’

It is City’s sec­ond Kelly Cup win, Welling­ton’s re­gional women’s knock­out com­pe­ti­tion, in as many sea­sons. Last year’s victory was the club’s first Kelly Cup ti­tle since 1975.

Ear­lier City had met East­ern Sub­urbs in Auck­land for a Na­tional Knock­out Cup semi­fi­nal match.

Though they lost the match 5-0 Hen­der­son said they had played some good foot­ball and the ex­pe­ri­ence had been pos­i­tive for her play­ers.

It was al­ways go­ing to be a tough ask to fly to Auck­land and play a match on the same day, she said.

After a score­less first half, a brief lapse from the 63rd minute in which they con­ceded three goals in 10 min­utes, proved City’s un­do­ing.

With the game wrapped up, East­ern Sub­urbs added two late goals.

De­spite be­ing ‘‘gut­ted’’ by the loss, Hen­der­son said it had been a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for her team.

‘‘A lot of elite stuff is cen­tred around Auck­land and it was an op­por­tu­nity to play some good play­ers and see how we stack up.’’

‘‘It was fan­tas­tic for a lit­tle club like us to get to the semis of the Knock­out Cup.’’

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