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By Gavin Searle
At the midpoint of the New World Premiership, Cashmere Technical's lead has increased to three points.
In round 7, Technical's closest rivals, Coastal Spirit and Christchurch United, played out a 1 - 1 result.
Technical had earlier extended their record undefeated run in the league to 41 after defeating Nelson Suburbs in Nelson 5-1.
The final two games saw one-goal margins to Ferrymead Bays and Nomads, with Bays edging Halswell 2-1 and Nomads defeating Selwyn 1-0.
Technical move to 19 points, Coastal are on 16, with United in third place on 14. Suburbs have 10 with Nomads and Bays now on nine. Selwyn is on four, with Halswell still scoreless.
United dominated the opening half against Coastal and, after several half chances, the Coastal defence allowed Max Chretien too much room, and he was untroubled to find the back of the net after 15 minutes.
United continued to dominate, and Coastal keeper Ellis Hare-Reid was called on to make several good saves, but United were unable to add to their scoreline before the break.
Coastal had to lift after the break if they were to stay in the game and went close early on when Dominic McGarr headed on to the post.
United looked dangerous going forward with Coastal drawing level after Jack Mitchell hit the post with the ball pin-balling around before Mika Rabuka forced it home. The result was the first time the two sides have drawn in the league.
In a game that was not as one way as the final scoreline might suggest, Technical took the lead in the 18th minute when Garbhan Coughlan scored.
Luke Tongue then increased the margin from a free-kick, before Yuya Taguchi extended the lead to three with the 100th goal of the season right on half-time.
Fraser Angus made it four just after the break, with Carl Conner-McClean coming into the game off the bench to pull a goal back for Suburbs. Coughlan then bagged a brace when flicking up a rebound and turning to volley home in added time.
In a scrappy opening half at times between Nomads and Selwyn, which the Stallions created the better of the chances, the sides turned at the break scoreless. The stalemate continued until 15 minutes to play when a Nomads player was brought down in the area. Daniel Thoms slotted home the resulting penalty, leaving his side in the all-important fifth place on the table.
Halswell are still winless since returning to the league this season, going down by the odd goal to Bays. Will Pierce gave Bays an early lead which Ryan Stanley increased on the stroke of half time. Chris Whiteside scored his third goal of the season to bring the Hawks back into the game with 30min to play, but that completed the scoring.
Round 8 match-ups will see Halswell host Suburbs in the early game on Saturday. Nomads will take on United while Technical will face Selwyn. On Sunday, Coastal will face Bays.
- Coastal Spirit 1 (Mika Rabuka) Christchurch United 1 (Max Christian) HT 0-3.
- Halswell 1 (Chris Whiteside) Ferrymead Bays 2 (Will Pierce, Ryan Stanley) HT 0-2.
- Nelson Suburbs 1 (Carl Connor-McClean) Cashmere Technical 5 (Garbhan Coughlan 2, Fraser Angus, Yuya Taguchi, Luke Tongue) HT 0-3.
- Nomads 1 (Daniel Thoms - pen) Selwyn 0 HT 0-0.
Defending champs win top-of-table clash
Defending New World Women's Premiership champions, Coastal Spirit SAS took a major step towards retaining the title when they took out the top-of-the-table clash against Cashmere Technical 5-1.
Universities had a big win, defeating Nomads 9-1, with Waimak coming out on top against Ferrymead Bays 3-1 to claim their first win of the season.
After four of the 15 rounds, Coastal sit on 12 points, Technical have nine, Universities seven, Waimak are now in 4th place on four, Bays stay on 3, with Nomads yet to secure a point.
Coastal SAS made the ideal start when Britney-Lee Nicholson scored in the opening minutes. Nicholson doubled the lead when she added a second after 11min.
Technical finally woke up and narrowed the margin when Nicola Dominikovich finished well 5min later. Both teams created chances to add to their scoreline with luck not on Technical's side after twice hitting the crossbar before the break.
Nicholson completed her hat-trick early in the second half and added a fourth on the hour mark. Mel Cameron completed the scoring with 13min to play.
Universities racked up their biggest win since the 2015 season, making it two wins on the bounce when they overcame Nomads. Fives goals in the opening half saw the students well in control at the break, with six different players scoring. Brook Tear was the scorer for Nomads.
On Friday evening, three goals were scored in a lively opening 20min. Emily Copper put Waimak ahead in the 15th with Lucretia Taylor then doubling the lead a minute later. Jess Dyer then replied for Bays shortly after. Charlotte Roche added Waimak's third goal on the hour mark.
The upcoming round will see Coastal host Bays, Universities face Technical and Waimak take on Nomads.
New World Women's Premiership results
- Cashmere Technical 1 (Nicola Dominikovich) Coastal Spirit SAS 5 (Britney-Lee Nicholson 4, Mel Cameron) HT 1-2.
- Ferrymead Bays 1 (Jess Dyer) Waimak 3 (Emily Cooper, Lucretia Taylor, Charlotte Roche) HT 1-2.
- Universities 9 (Frankie Morrow 3, Nova Daly-Davies 2, Kelsey Barrett, Jasmine Donald, Wikke Nijhof, Erin Roxburgh) Nomads 1 (Brooke Tear) HT 5-0.