Marist are back on home turf and looking for revenge over Southern United in a top of the table Canterbury Premier League (CPL) men’s clash tomorrow afternoon.
On opening weekend, Southern got the jump on Marist, upsetting last year’s beaten finalists and snatching the Challenge Shield. They’ve then gone through the first round unbeaten, dropping a mere two points to hold a commanding seven-point lead over Marist heading into tomorrow’s clash.
While on the flip side Marist have had an up and down season so far, with a couple of big win’s combined with some disappointing defeats, but will take confidence in the fact they have found the back of the net more than any other team across the opening seven matches. With question marks over Brad Shaw’s availability and George Connell serving the final week of his suspension, the three points and Challenge Shield are well and truly up for grabs.
The women’s competition followed a similar trend to the men’s through round one, with Carlton Redcliffs remaining unbeaten to sit six points clear at the top of the table. They too hold the Challenge Shield, with third placed Avon their opponents on Saturday. The Eels were taught a lesson from the defending champions back in early April but have showed their competitiveness in 2019 and will doing all they can to rein in the league leaders this time round.
Harewood Men sit in the unfamiliar position of fourth on the table, eight points adrift of the top of the table. To win the President’s Shield for the sixth consecutive year, three points is a requirement this week as they take on bottom placed Hornby. However, the Vipers are no pushovers, having held leads in five of their seven games so far, but just haven’t managed to hold on until the end and snatch and elusive first victory of the season.
The women’s match was a tight affair back in round one, a resolute Hornby defense grinding out a well-deserved draw. Both teams are mid table, separated by only a point with Harewood just in front in fourth position. While the battle out on the pitch will be ferocious, the encounter in the dugout will be just as intense, as two of the more vocal coaches in the competition in Sunjay Ganda and Chris Leslie go head to head once again.
Avon Men have put themselves in top four contention after the first round, sitting two points behind fourth placed Harewood. Their round one victory over opponents Carlton Redcliffs played a big part in that, and they’ll be looking to back things up after a strong victory over Marist last weekend. Redcliffs are in need of some morale boosting, and a three-point haul might be a good place to start.
HSOB/Burnside Men will be expected to continue their roll on against University, while Marist would be expected to get the job done against bottom placed Southern United in the remaining women’s match.
12.00pm HSOB/Burnside vs University Waimakiriri Turf
2.45pm Hornby Vipers vs Harewood Nga Puna Wai 1
4.30pm Marist vs Southern United* Marist Park
4.30pm Avon vs Carlton Redcliffs Nga Puna Wai 2
3.00pm Marist vs Southern United Marist Park
3.00pm Carlton Redcliffs* vs Avon Nga Puna Wai 2
4.15pm Hornby Tigers vs Harewood Nga Puna Wai 1
*denotes Challenge Shield holder
Image: Geoff Soper