Back to a full round for the last games of the year before the Christmas break. Waitakere picked up a 2-1 on Thursday night at QBE Stadium, thanks to 2 (possibly dubious) penalties.
Sunday was derby day, with Team Wellington beating the Weenix 3-2 at Dave Farrington Park and in Invercargill, hosts Southern United took the lead but couldn't hold Canterbury United out who went on to win 3-1.
The TV game was WaiBOP United v Auckland City, which Auckland won 2-0.
Here are the highlights of this weeks games
Goal of the weekCouple of good ones in there this week, I reckon Cole Peverley's strike for Team Wellington's 2nd just edges out Andre De Jong's free kick for his 2nd and Canterbury United's 3rd
The youth league wrapped up in what was an incredibly close league with only 5 points separating the top 7 teams. Team Wellington were the Champions, their first title coming 10 years after the last time the league was won by a team from the Capital (Capital Football in 2006).
The format will change again next year when only ASB Premiership teams will be able to field teams in the youth league, which means Nelson Falcons will become Tasman United, while Auckland United, Manawatu United & Heartland Wairarapa will disappear from the league. Given that the youth league is a development league, you would have thought that NZF would be encouraging the regions where there is no National League football to develop and strengthen the code there but this latest decision seems not to have been thought through that well.
The Beer League
In the beer league, as Southern United were playing at Invercargill, I thought I'd go for something from the Invercargill brewery. I'm not sure what has happened but they are beers that seem to be increasingly hard to find in Wellington and when I did locate them at Regional Wines and Spirits there was only the Pitch Black Stout (4.5%). However this wasn't a bad thing as it has that lovely roasted coffee aroma and taste with a hint of chocolate a very smooth beer that left me disappointed that I had only bought one bottle of it.
Up against it was Three Boys Hoppy Porter (5.2%), coming with a story on the label of how legend had it that townsfolk in England would drown when vats of porter at a local brewery burst. I doubt I'd drown for this beer but it was still a nice smooth porter, a little more complex than the Pitch Black Stout with a slightly sweet initial taste, before leaving a bitter aftertaste.
Both pretty nice beers and I couldn't choose between them so its a 2-2 draw
I have been trying to use different breweries but have found when trying to get beers from out of Wellington, the suppliers seem to be restricted to certain breweries (Hence using Three Boys Hoppy porter rather than Cashel's Milk Stout) the supermarkets and bottle stores here understandably focusing on Wellington beers. Luckily there are lots and so for the Wellington derby I selected 2 I hadn't tried before.
Funk Estate Oh Lordy NZ Pale Ale (5.5%).
The challenge on the label is to drink this and not scream out....Oh Lordy!
Unfortunately it wasn't that hard of a challenge, it felt like this beer really wanted to be a Pale Ale, it has the funky name and the cool art work but it just doesn't quite make it.
For the Phoenix I chose Upper Hutt brewery Kereru Hop to it Pale Ale (5.9%) this was a full bodied dry Pale Ale with a nice nutty taste and easily won the derby 3-1
Results - Just Football
Waitakere United 2 Hawke's Bay United 1
WaiBOP United 0 Auckland City 2
Beer & Football
Team Wellington 3 Wellington Phoenix 2
Funk Estate Oh Lordy NZ Pale Ale (5.5%) 1 Kereru Hop to it Pale Ale (5.9%) 3
Southern United 1 Canterbury United 3
Invercargill Brewery Pitch Black Stout (4.5%) 2 Three Boys Hoppy Porter (5.2%) 2
So we are at the Christmas break and the next games are on January 10th
The football table is headed by Auckland City with 13 points, 1 ahead of Team Wellington & Canterbury United on 12. Hawke's Bay United are in the 4th position on 11 points, 5 ahead of WaiBOP United & Waitakere United, with the Weenix on 4 points, 1 ahead of bottom place Southern United.
In the Beer league its a different story, Southern United are top of the league with 10 points, followed by WaiBOP United, Auckland City & Team Wellington on 7. Weenix and Canterbury United on 5 each, while Waitakere United and Hawke's Bay United yet to score a point