Local rivalries makes North Dunedin the place to be

Two huge local rivalries take place this weekend as our Women’s Premiers host Roslyn Wakari on Saturday and then our Men’s Premiers host Mosgiel on Sunday making North Dunedin the temporary hive of top quality football.

For our Women’s Premiers the business end of the season is now approaching, they’ve built a solid foundation but with some catch up games still to be played its points on the board that stand rather than the promise of winning games. Our visitors Roslyn Wakari are in a mini rebuilding phase after a University-esque departure of players but there’s still more than enough quality in coach Hamish Philips side to cause our girls plenty of problems if anything less than 100% focus is brought to the match.

Key will be how effective the midfield is at controlling possession which was probably the difference between the two sides in our earlier victory at Ellis Park, combine this with some clinical finishing and the girls can be confident of a positive outcome. Captain Megan O’Malley is away for the next couple of weeks so its the free scoring Meike van der Meer who will lead the side.

Nothing could seperate our Men’s Premiers and Mosgiel in the last fixture at the Caledonian as our visitors were content to hold as much as possible and our previously reliable finishing deserted us for the weekend. There is no expectation for a cagey game this time around with both sides having lost their first Southern Football League getting points is a must if success at this level. It is expected that Mosgiel will be more open than that title deciding match which might just present enough of an incentive for our boys to get stuck in and chase those points.

A full squad to call on for coach Darren Hart makes things a bit easier than when we hosted Cashmere Technical two weeks ago with the luxury of having some selection headaches a nice problem to have. Recent signings Santeri Kuivalanien and Eddie Wilkinson are both in the squad and will represent unknown quantities for our opponents. The classy midfield work of Oban Hawkins will also be something to watch out for with this ability to twist and turn and then find the right pass to play a relatively rarity down south.

Arnon’s Women’s Seconds travel out to Mosgiel to face the only side that the girls have beaten in this league since joining four years back. It was a bit of thrashing when we took that win with superior fitness from our girls and some discipline issues from Mosgiel seeing a flow of goals in the second half. When Mosgiel have been at full strength this year they’ve been competitive and there is no chance of entering this game thinking we have the edge with a big gap in consistent training over the University break leaving the girls a bit short of fitness for the next couple of weeks.

Men’s Seconds fielded a quality side last weekend and looked far too strong for the Green Island side but what things look like on paper can be very different when you get in to a football environment so this week the boys really need to knuckle down and work as a unit. Playing away from the Turf is just something that the boys need to get used to and prepare for and with a really solid week of training the Tonga Park surface might not be as bigger factor as the patchy Sunnyvale field was last weekend.

With almost a full squad to call upon apart from injured skipper Nick Kelly, there’s a chance for immediate redemption for the team and keep themselves in the mix for the Fletcher Cup title this year. Still plenty to play for with only a precious few points between the top three.

A fall from grace for Jack and the Men’s Thirds last weekend as they conceded three points to neighbours Northern and with that the lead in the Division Two table. On the turf this week against the newest of the Melchester sides will probably suit us more than the Gardens and with the boys needing to win every game from here on in and hope for other results to swing our way some tough selection decisions might have to come.

Away games for both our Division One Women’s teams with Blue facing top of the table Roslyn Wakari at Ellis Park the tougher of the two fixtures. Plenty of goals midweek from Blue but unfortunately there were plenty more from Yellow so they need to tighten the defence up. Yellow play at the same time and venue as our Women’s Seconds out at Memorial so a bit of a club rivalry happening out there. Three seperate players Steve Glover, Dani Martin and Joyce O’Brien scored hattricks midweek so more of the same from those girls and a late and lucky run at the title might be on.

In Men’s Division Four, Sixths are out at Mosgiel against a team sitting a few places ahead but not looking a huge amount more talented. Sevenths have the stronger of the two Roslyn Wakari sides and will be hoping that they haven’t enjoyed their return to University for second semester too much.

The full fixture list is:

  • Men’s Premier versus Mosgiel, 12:30 at the Caledonian – Sunday
  • Men’s Seconds versus Caversham, 12:45 at Tonga Park
  • Men’s Thirds versus Green Island, 12:45 at Logan Park
  • Men’s Fourths versus Men’s Fifths, deferred to a night fixture
  • Men’s Sixths versus Mosgiel, 2:45 at Mosgiel
  • Men’s Sixths versus Roslyn Wakari, 2:45 at the Oval
  • Women’s Premiers versus Roslyn Wakari, 12:45 at Logan Park
  • Women’s Seconds versus Mosgiel, 12:45 at Memorial Park
  • Women’s Division One Blue versus Roslyn Wakari, 12:45 at Ellis Park
  • Women’s Division One Yellow versus Mosgiel, 12:45 at Memorial Park