The Living Room Derby

   Brooklyn Northern United 2  
 Island Bay United  5

Capital Premier

Wakefield Park, Wellington

Saturday 16th May 2015

There are many great derby's in the world, the Old Firm derby between Celtic & Rangers in Glasgow, the eternal city derby in Rome between Roma & Lazio, the Superclascio derby in Buenos Aires between Boca Juniors & River Plate.These are built up over time due to the close proximity of the clubs, the success of each club and usually a bit of animosity.

So when you talk about derby's in Wellington, you tend to think of something like old National League foes Miramar Rangers v Wellington United, you don't immediaetly think of Brooklyn Northern United (BNU) v Island Bay United (IBU). There may be only 5km separating the suburbs but the two clubs have only met at the top level 17 times in the last 33 years!

In Italy it is common for two clubs to share the same ground (eg AC Milan & Inter). That is what BNU & IBU do, but not only that they share the same club rooms! Not so much as Love thy neighbour, as Live with thy neighbour!

As a neutral I thought the name Living Room Derby was quite good, however I'm neutral and when I saw the comments of BNU coach, Dene Bannister who described Island Bay as “our fiercest rivals” and I discovered there is a cup called the Presidents Cup on the line every time these two clubs meet maybe I was wrong but still I like the Living Room derby name (and to be honest I'll probably be the only one to ever use it!)

From an outsiders view the clubs are reasonably similar, while always been around the Central League \ top Capital leagues, neither have been massively successfully in terms of trophies won, but they both have good junior sections and very good social sections.

As mentioned above these clubs have only met at the top level 19 times in the last 33 years.
Of these meetings IBU have had the upper hand winning 9, while BNU have won 4 and 4 have been drawn. The last time the clubs met was in the Chatham Cup in 2013 when BNU went 2-0 up early on but ended up losing 7-3, which ended up being an omen for this game!

I picked up a program from the bar and was initially impressed as it had a glossy cover and as well as this game covered the women's central league game against Stop Out the next day, but on opening it found it was basically just a team sheet, although the page numbering gave away the fact there must have been a printing error and 4 pages were missing and the last 2 pages were just blank, oh well it was free.

Scanning the team lists none of the players names really jumped out but there was one name that did and that was IBU coach Mick Waitt. Mick Waitt who had once played for Notts County, was the NZ National team coach from 2002-04 where he won the Oceania Nations Cup and took NZ to the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, unfortunately in the cruel world of football what he will be remembered for is losing 4-2 to Vanuatu in the 2004 Oceania Nations Cup.

He is now at IBU in Capital Premier which could be considered the 3rd level of NZ football, while it was a surprise to see him there it gives the impression that Island Bay are a club with some ambition.

As for the game, the artificial turf makes the games quite fast. From a spectator point of view this is great it leads to fast, skillful football and is great to watch. After about 20 minutes BNU got a free kick and this was the result.
Paul Clune score from a Blake Weston Free Kick

then about 4 minutes later they got another 2-0 seemed deserved but just when they were staring to look comfortable Island Bay got one back around the 30 minute mark. Then 2 goals just before half time had Island Bay at 3-2 up going into the break. It had been a good first half with a standard off football higher than I had been expecting at this level, I thought BNU were unlucky to be 3-2 down. The second half was no where near as good, it was like the injury time goal that IBU got knocked the confidence out of BNU and when IBU made it 4-2 that was game over. IBU made it 5-2 with a penalty in the last minute, so BNU were 2-0 up and just like the 2013 Chatham Cup game went on to lose by score that makes it look like a hammering, I never saw the 2013 game but in this game 5-2 was a bit of a harsh scoreline for them - as one of their fans commented at the end you saw the good, the bad and the ugly of BNU today.