The Kelly Cup

 Kelly Cup
Sunday 6th September 2015
Seatoun 5 Stop Out 0

Curtain Raiser : Executive Plate
Tawa 3 North Wellington 2 *aet
Petone Memorial

The Kelly Cup is the oldest Women's football trophy in New Zealand. It was presented to the then Wellington Women's FA in 1973 for a knock out competition by Jim Nutter, who was president of Newlands United. It was named after Patrick Kelly who was the inaugural chairman of the Wellington Women's FA.

In 42 years of competition there have only been 12 different clubs that have won the trophy. The early years of the cup were dominated by the all conquering Miramar Rangers team, who won 14 of the first 19 finals. These days it is Seatoun who are dominating the competition with 11 wins in the last 16 years.

In the early days of the cup there was a curtain raiser played called the Tenderkist Challenge Trophy played between a Presidents XI & a Maori XI, the last record I can find of this game was in 1978, today the curtain raiser was the Executive Plate, which is a knockout cup competition played between lower division clubs (Div 1 down).

Normally I wouldn't bother with the curtain raiser but when I discovered that it was between close rivals North Wellington and Tawa I decided that it would be worth watching (and I also know a couple of the North Wellington team).

Tawa opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when North Wellington's keeper watched the ball cross in front of her and end up in the far corner of the net. 10 minutes later it was all even again when North Wellington's Vicky Elks scored a with a screamer of a strike from about 30 yards out. 
Vicky Elks not scoring a screamer but taking a corner

The game was fairly even, the 2 teams finished 2 points apart in the 1st division and neither team dominated, North Wellington looked to have edged it with this goal in the 77th minute

 Only for Tawa to equalise a minute later and force the game into extra time.
Tawa scored 3 minutes into extra time and held one despite a frantic North Wellington effort with several shots just missing. In the end I thought North Wellington were slightly unlucky but I am biased and it was an entertaining game that could have gone either way. So unfortunately for North Wellington's Shona Mackay and Vicky Elks there was to be no winner medal to add to their Kelly Cup one they won 19 years ago in 1996.

So to the main event, the 2015 Kelly Cup Final. Seatoun had just won the Central League title so were aiming for a double, Stop Out were in their 1st ever final. Stop Out had found
Seatoun's Kelsi Rutene
themselves in the Central League this season after 2 clubs withdrew and they had finished 6th with just 2 wins and a draw. In the games between the clubs this season Seatoun had won both 4-0 & 8-0. So Stop Out were up against it but they came out trying to make a game of it. After about 10 minutes an impressive Seatoun side started to dominate and when Annie Olsen and Grace Sturridge scored 2 goals within 3 minutes of each other it felt as though the floodgates would open. But Stop Out batted hard and some great saves from their keeper kept Seatoun at bay for a while, but Seatoun were clearly the better team and by half time had doubled the score to 4-0. 10 minutes into the second half Sturridge got her second and what proved to be the last as Seatoun ran out 5-0 winners for their 11th win in the Kelly Cup.

So an enjoyable day with 2 entertaining games and some quality football especially from the very good Seatoun team. The only downside of the day was the lack of promotion that the Kelly Cup is afforded by Capital Football. In the early days of the Kelly Cup there was match programs and a bit of hype, now there is nothing. A skillful attacking team like Seatoun and a battling team like Stop Out deserve more than the 60 or so that turned up to watch them today.

Stop Outs Kathryn Burt takes a throw in