At the beginning of the season I was a bit concerned about the choice of teams for TV games, especially with WaiBOP getting so many, I know this was down to cost a its easier for Sky to get down to Hamilton than Napier, but WaiBOP's record in previous years wasn't great but at this year at they have been plenty of goals when they have been on TV. Their 3-0 win over Southern meaning there has been 29 goals scored in the 8 games they have played so far.
The hapless Southern United again struggling to score and have only scored 5 this season, at least they have another 6 games to beat the record low goals scored in the National League of 6 (incidentally by another Dunedin club, Caversham in 1973).
Sunday's teams saw what could likely be the semi finals with the top 4 teams playing each other. In Christchurch, Hawke's Bay United inflicted Canterbury United's first home defeat of the season with a 3-1 win.
Game of the round was at Dave Farrington Park in Wellington between Team Wellington & Auckland City. 4 goals, 2 bookings, 2 penalties & that was just the first 23 minutes! No goals were added after this, however there was another penalty, which was saved by Auckland City substitute keeper Danyon Drake as Jacob Spoonley was sent off. A pulsating game from the 2 Oceania Champions League representatives and one that makes you wonder what they were thinking when they deemed it to be a non TV game!
The TV game was Waitakere United v Wellington Phoenix at the shockingly awful QBE stadium. It has got better since the start of the season, at least they don't have to spray paint it green now but it is still a disgrace. The fact that the pitch is being used for a women's Olympic qualifying international on the 26th is an embarrassment.
The game ended 4-1 to Waitakere, the Weenix weakened by the big team playing in Newcastle that night. Last season I thought the Weenix was a good addition to the ASB Premiership but it was more of a reserve team, this season it is an academy team and I'm not so sure it's a good thing (but this is probably the start of another blog post)
So here are the highlights
Goal of the week – Ryan Tinsley's 1st for Canterbury was the 100th this season in the ASB Premiership, but the goal of the week goes to Sean Lovemore for his cracking effort just before half time to make it 2-1 (also the Weenix should be worried as it started from their throw-in by the Waitakere corner flag!)
WaiBOP United 2 Southern United 3
Mata Dark Knight Chocolate Porter (5%)
Have you ever tried Whittakers Dark Ghana Chocolate with 70% Cocoa? Well if you have and then imagine a liquid version of it you have Aotearoa Breweries Mata Dark Knight Chocolate Porter. Very pleasant to drink with a slight roasted coffee aftertaste
Beltane Victoria's Imperial Porter (8.5%)
While there are a lot of breweries in the Southern part of New Zealand, the Wellington supermarkets seem to only have Emerson's or Queenstown Breweries stocked, not that there is anything wrong with this but I have been trying to use a different brewery every time. So I was pleased when I discovered this beer from the relatively new Beltane Brewery based in Tapanui. I wasn't so pleased when I discovered it was a limited edition (bottle 155 of 600) and it cost $16.49 for a 330ml bottle! But it as described as a Chocolate Orange Ale and that seemed quite interesting so I decided to buy it. It was very interesting, quite a complex beer with definite Chocolate and Orange flavours hitting you first before more subtle maltiness and the classic Porter roasted coffee aftertaste
Waitakere United 4 Wellington Phoenix 5
8 Wired Tall Poppy India Red Ale (7%)
Waitakere have made several transfers during the break so I decided to go with a beer that has recently transferred to Auckland (well Warkworth). 8 Wired originally started in Blenheim when brewer Soren Eriksen was working for Renaissance and started making his own beer. He has gone on to win awards including Champion NZ brewery in 2011 and in 2015, helped by winning $160 000 from professional poker tournaments he set up his own brewery in Warkworth.The Tall Poppy is a big malty ale nicely balanced with a sniff of grapefruit and pine and refreshing hoppy taste.
Fork Brewing Godzone Beat Champion Pale Ale (5.9%)
A new beer! Well no. Fork Brewing is based in the Fork & Brewer pub in Wellington's Bond Street and has been brewing beer there since 2006. Only now they have now put some of it in bottles.This Pale Ale is fruity with Lychee and orange aroma's and flavours coming through with a dry hoppy, slightly bitter aftertaste. A very smooth beer
Canterbury United 1 Hawke's Bay United 3
Team Wellington 2 Auckland City 2
WaiBOP United 3 Southern United 0
Waitakere United 4 Wellington Phoenix 1
WaiBOP 2 Aotearoa Mata Dark Knight Chocolate Porter (5%)
Southern United 3 Beltane Victoria's Imperial Porter (8.5%)
Waitakere United 4 8 Wired Tall Poppy Red India Ale (7%)
Wellington Phoenix 5 Fork Brewing Godzone Beat Champion Pale Ale (5.9%)