Fourteen weeks on and we have four clubs left in the running to be crowned Canterbury Premier League (CPL) Champions for 2020.
It’s not known when the last time the same four clubs battled it out in both the men’s and women’s competition, with historians working in overtime this week to see if it’s ever occurred that the semi finals have the exact same draw across both genders.
Defending women’s champions Carlton Redcliffs are first up tomorrow in their semi final against Avon. The two teams have split the two encounters this season, with Redcliffs coming unstuck against Avon early in the season before getting their revenge in round two.
The Eels flew out of the blocks, and sat in second position for most of the season before getting pipped by Redcliffs. Preparations for the match have been contrasting, with Redcliffs welcoming Sophie Prebble back to the training paddock, while Avon had to deal with a light failure at Nga Puna Wai and work on some of their skills in the dark.
The men’s match follows immediately afterwards, and if the season’s results are anything to go by, the match will be close. The teams split the opening match, before Redcliffs snuck home in the second round by a solitary goal.
Avon had to work hard to book their spot in the semi final, and the experience of last year should help the team as they go in search of a first finals appearance since the new millennium.
Redcliffs are on a roll, having not dropped a game all season, but will not be complacent as they look to return to the big dance for the first time since 2017.
It’s 2019 all over again as Harewood clash with Marist in both the men’s and women’s semi finals. Marist came out on top in both matches last year, but the Hunters will be out to make amends tomorrow.
The women’s match sees Harewood start as favourites, with only one loss all season and two victories over the Mermaids including a 5-0 thrashing. The double threat of Jordy Grant and Charlotte Lee will be hard to stop, but Marist’s defence lead by Anna Crowley and Holly Gaskin is hard to break down, with some saying they are tougher to get past than the bouncers at Fat Eddies.
The men’s match wraps up the semi final action and has all the makings of a thriller. They’ve both won a game each this season, and the corresponding fixture went all the way to a penalty shootout last year.
Harewood boast the best defensive record through the regular season, while Marist were the second best team at the attacking end. The match up between Joe Morrison and Gus Wakeling could almost be viewed as Michael Jordan vs Lebron James proportions, both playing vital roles in both defence and attack for their sides and hard to stop when they get hot.
Semi Final Draw – NPW 1
11.45am: Carlton Redcliffs v Avon (Women)
1.15pm: Carlton Redcliffs v Avon (Men)
2.45pm: Harewood v Marist (Women)
4.15pm: Harewood v Marist (Men)
11.45am: Hornby Vipers v Southern United (NPW 2 – Men)
2.45pm: Hornby Tigers v Southern United (NPW 2 – Women)
3.00pm: HSOB/Burnside v University (Marist Park – Men)