New Zealand’s two domestic cups, the NZ Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup and Chatham Cup, were decided on Sunday at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium. Auckland United FC claiming the women’s title with a win over Northern Rovers FC and Auckland City FC claiming the men’s by beating Eastern Suburbs FC – both games finishing 1-0.
In the NZ Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup, Northern Rovers FC had twice beaten Auckland United in the league on their way to the Lotto NRFL title, but it was the Mount Roskill-based side who left North Harbour Stadium with silverware on Sunday.
A well fought contest throughout, Auckland United finally made the breakthrough in the 56th minute. A pin point ball over the top from Junior Football Fern Milly Clegg found Martine Puketapu with only the keeper to beat. Her lobbed finish over goalkeeper Ellen Blount proved to be the decider as Auckland United claimed their first Kate Sheppard Cup title in a decade, and their first as Auckland United after previously winning as Three Kings United.
The Maia Jackman Trophy, awarded to the best player in the game, was given to Auckland United’s Katie Duncan after a commanding performance from the veteran midfielder.
The Chatham Cup saw Northern League and OFC Champions League winners Auckland City complete a treble with their first ever win in the competition. The first half was tight with both sides trading blows. Auckland City’s passing style was well matched by the Suburbs defence as both carved out opportunities without getting the break through.
Mirroring the earlier game, the goal came early into the second half. A Cam Howieson backheel found Dylan Manickum wide on the left wing. Manickum cut inside, driving past three Suburbs players before firing in a long range shot from the edge of the box past Joseph Knowles in goal.
Eastern Suburbs fought back and very nearly had the ball in the back of the net after a goal line scramble in the 77th minute. A late corner fell to Stephen Hoyle but he blazed it over the bar at the death.
The Jack Batty Memorial Trophy, awarded to the game’s best player, was given to goal scorer Dylan Manickum.
– NZ Football