Female teams to fore with round ball in South

The Steel (above left) are all smiles after winning the ANZ Premiership in Palmerston North last...
The Steel (above left) are all smiles after winning the ANZ Premiership in Palmerston North last month. Photos: Michael Bradley/Gregor Richardson
We have only won the Super Rugby title once and the Chatham Cup last visited these shores nigh on 20 years ago. So thank goodness for the women.

Female teams have been on fire in the South this year. Well, more specifically, women’s teams which play with a round ball.

The Dunedin Technical women’s football team is the latest team to have won a national title. picking up the Kate Sheppard Cup in Auckland on Sunday after a gutsy and against-predictions 4-2 win over a highly-fancied Forrest Hill Milford United side from Auckland.

That comes on the back of the Southern United women’s football team last season making the playoffs for the first time after being in the doldrums for many years.

It is the first time the newly named Kate Sheppard Cup has come this far south.

Last month, the Southern Steel netball side won its second straight ANZ Premiership, beating the Pulse in a dramatic final in Palmerston North.

The Steel which is based in Dunedin and Invercargill — more players are now based in Dunedin —  won the title last year by beating the Pulse in convincing fashion.

Round-ball success also came when the Otago Goldrush won the national women’s basketball championships in Dunedin in July.

Photos: Michael Bradley
Photos: Michael Bradley
It timed its run to perfection in winning the title with a win over Waikato in the final. This was the Goldrush’s ninth consecutive win.

The Goldrush has always been in contention for the title over the past few years but a good core of experience mixed in with some exciting young talent got it over the line.

Getting away from the round ball, the Otago Spirit women’s rugby team sit top of the Farah Palmer Cup Championship division after winning its first two games.

More women than ever are playing sport at school and then continuing on after leaving. A vibrant women’s football club competition sits alongside competitive basketball and netball leagues in the south.

In Dunedin, university students are the backbone of many teams and there are more females to pick from.

Last year at the University of Otago there were 12,272 female students and 8,565 male students helping add depth to sport teams.

And as we all know the bigger the bottle — the more people playing sport — the bigger the cream. 

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