New Zealand’s Chatham Cup has returned to the South Island for the first time since 2014, as Cashmere Technical defeated Miramar Rangers 4-2 at Jerry Collins Stadium in Porirua last weekend.

Delayed from its usual September final due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 Chatham Cup final, typically the winter season-ender, became the 2022 season-opener.

Cashmere Technical took the lead in the 42nd minute, after Jacob Richards was fouled in the penalty area and Garbhan Coughlan calmly slotted home from the spot.

The sustained pressure from Cashmere Technical continued to pay off in the second half. Miramar Rangers goalkeeper Ryan Foord then had a moment to forget as pressure from Tech saw him misjudge a pass, giving the ball to Yuya Taguchi who rolled the ball into the back of the net to double the lead on the hour.

Five minutes later Coughlan netted his second and his side’s third.

Against the run of play, Miramar Rangers pulled one back in the 75th minute through central defender Flynn O’Brien, who unleashed a rocket from just outside the penalty area.

Miramar set the scene for a thrilling finish minutes later when Liam Wood finished at close range, but Taguchi, who was awarded the Jack Batty Memorial trophy for the Chatham Cup final’s player of the match, ended any dream of a comeback when he scored his second of the afternoon.

Next Sunday will see Hamilton Wanderers take on Wellington United in New Zealand’s Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup final.