Misfits v Taradale, Women's soccer
Maycenvale Misfits have one in the bag but tomorrow they desperately want another to make it a three-peat double of league and knockout cup soccer titles.
The Aleesha Heywood-captained Misfits beat Taradale Baldwin Jewellers 3-0 on Thursday under the floodlights to clinch the league bragging rights at Petane Domain, Eskview.
But at 10.30am tomorrow the two sides meet again at Marewa Park, Napier, to decide who will be the HB AppMed House Knockout Cup winners this winter.
On Thursday night, Biddy Wilson opened Vale's account with a 13th-minute header from a corner-kick before Heywood popped in a goal in each half in almost the same fashion, beating a couple of defenders before crisply planting the ball past Dale keeper Chloe Katene in for Kylie Sutherland.
"I thought it would be a bit closer to be honest after losing a game and drawing one against them in the season," said Heywood who won a title under coach Craig Barkle as a Napier City Rovers player four seasons ago.
The league has had its share of controversy with Dale effectively having won the title but Central Football extending the season with a few more rounds.
The youthful Misfits needed to win outright to claim the title as Dale had a better average.
Vale will be without centre-mid Emma Rogers, who had to attend a Central trials in Palmerston North today to make the cut for the New Zealand Youth League.
Dale captain Kelly Frewin (nee Marsh) said they didn't play badly on Thursday.
"It wasn't for a lack of trying ... we just didn't take our chances in the first half," Frewin said.
"If we play the same way and finish those chances we will do better on Sunday," the striker said.
Dale have had their fair share of hurdles with Frewin and defender Lisa Coutts involved with the Bay under-11 girls' team in Gisborne this weekend as co-coach and manager, respectively.
Coach Graeme Jones is also the under-11 boys' coach and won't be on the sideline tomorrow.
"Lisa's undecided if she will go to Gisborne or stay here to play."
Maycenvale player Brendan Adema has replaced Frewin as co-coach with Shelley Cameron.