Melville claim Waikato Women’s B title
Club Derby Win Secures Title
Melville Women’s Development Team have clinched the Waikato Women’s B Championship title after a 6-0 derby win against Melville Epics under lights on Gower No 2.
With one game left to play, the Development team are four points clear of Waikato Unicol, having netted 56 goals and only conceded five from their 13 matches. The team’s record has also included nine clean sheets for keeper Selena Timings and the miserly defence in front of her.
In a hard fought, good spirited affair the Development team were kept honest by a determined Epics team who never gave up on a night when emotions could have run high. Over the years club derbies have provided for some testy moments but there was none of this in the penultimate game for each team. Referee Brett Chibnall said it was the most enjoyable game he had refereed for some time.
The most interesting match-up was Antonia and Selena Timings playing against their mother, Andrea, who had an outstanding game in the Epics midfield, rallying her plucky team to chase everything.
A superb 12 pass team goal, finished with a volley by top scorer Jacqui McInally, opened the scoring for the Development team in the 15th minute. A deflected shot from Monique Corkill and a far post finish from left winger Hannah Chambers saw the Development team take a 3-0 lead by the 25th minute.
But the Epics rallied and had several chances from corners and stayed resolute until just before half time when Victoria Hicks followed up a long range shot and drilled the ball into the net to give the Development team a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Development team rolled subs regularly and this combined with what must have been a very effective half time talk saw the Epics frustrate the Development team in the second half. The experience of Nadia “Chopper” Allen, Tash Huxtable, Andrea “MOS” Timings and the superb Sue McAllister shone through and inspired the rest of the team to go up a gear. Nardia Wallis in goal continued to make a number of superb saves.
Both teams tired towards the end with rolling subs Monique Corkill and Louise Hinds-Haye scored late long range goals to round out a 6-0 win and the championship for the Development team.
Development team coach Lance Vervoort said it was a great night for Melville Women’s football and he was relieved and “absolutely stoked” that the league title had been secured at home to another Melville team.
Vervoort said he was immensely proud of every one of his squad who had stuck to the year-long game plan of a tight defence, continuously pressing other teams and attacking down the flanks at every opportunity.
“We’ve had a great mix of several experienced players who have helped our younger players and all of them have shown great commitment and unity, a desire to improve and importantly a sense of fun,” Vervoort said. “These ladies, very ably led by captain Carrie Cathro, have shown what can happen, even after a slow start to the season and it has been pleasing we have been able to feed Laichyn (Parkinson) with players that could help the first team when they’ve been short”.