Melville women win big

Melville Premier women have recorded their most emphatic win of the season in beating Claudelands Rovers 9-0 at Galloway Park.

The result nudged them ahead of Melville Development – who lost 1-2 to the Claudelands Craft team in a tough away battle in another Waikato women’s A divsion match – on goal difference, while the Melville Epics continued their perfect record with a 4-0 home win over Waikato Unicol to lead the Waikato B division by two points from Huntly Thistle.

Melville women’s premiers and development team are now neck and neck in third and fourth place respectively in the women’s A division football, three points adrift of the lead.

Experienced midfield general Jackie Pretswell scored five as Melville Premiers hammered Rovers. They did the damage early, taking a 6-0 half time lead.

“It was our best half all season,” said coach Laichyn Parkinson. “Our midfield structure showed through and our distribution was good.”

The first goal came when player of the day Pretswell latched onto a free kick, and set plays continued to be a highlight, with Nat Mora bagging her second header of the season from a corner.

NAT MORA: Good with her head

NAT MORA: Good with her head

Kelsie MacKintosh was strong and picked up a goal along with Ali Galletely, and Konagh Garrett.

Meanwhile Melville Development defended tenaciously against Claudelands Craft with defenders Laura Davis and the Timings sisters, Antonia and Selena, making it difficult for their strikers to get shots on target. Melville keeper Emma Clarke showed class with some outstanding saves.

Nearing the end of the first half, Melville striker Summer Gunn got on the scorecard with a runaway one-on-one with the keeper, placing the ball securely in the corner of the goal. Summer is the team’s top scorer, having netted a goal in every game so far.

Summer is having a fine winter.

The second half was more physical than the first, with midfielders Johnelle Wearata, Nat Hallett, Jana and Erica Teare fighting hard to maintain possession. Jessie Begbie-Hall came on from the bench and immediately put pressure on the Rovers wingers and defence.

Unfortunately Claudelands were awarded a corner ball which Melville got a foot to, netting an own goal. Not long after the corner, Melville were caught off-guard and Claudelands slipped the ball in the back of the net.

Despite some cracking shots from strikers Sarah Mete and Brig Ravera, Melville were unable to change the scoreline. Begbie-Hall was the player’s player, and Clarke received player of the day.

On Sunday Melville Premiers host the Craft team at Gower Park, 11am, while the Developments face Waikato Unicol.

Melville Epics lived up to their name with a 4-0 win over second-placed Huntly Thistle at Gower Park. [add]

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