Women edged out of thrilling cup final

Rachel Hill who scored her 23rd goal of the season in the final. Photo – Louis Roberts.

Cambridge women’s football team have capped a successful season by finishing second in both their cup and league competitions.

Starting the year with a young and inexperienced squad, the club’s women’s team was edged out of the weekend’s final of the Waikato Women’s Cup, losing 3-2 to West Hamilton United in extra time.

Playing at John Kerkhof Park, the Hamilton side took the early initiative and a 2-0 lead into the interval.

But Cambridge came back strongly in the second spell, scoring goals through Caitlyn Varcoe and Rachel Hill to lock the match up 2-2 at the end of ordinary time.

For Hill, it was her 23rd goal of the season, taking her level with teammate Astrid Howarth in the race for the women’s Golden Boot.

The additional period was evenly balanced but West Hamilton held their nerve and grabbed a late winner to take the trophy.

Coach Andrew Taylor said he was proud of his team for the character of their performance and everyone contributed well, especially Chrissy Goodin, Howarth and Varcoe.

The Hill Homes Player of the Day was veteran goalkeeper and captain Jen Hull, playing her last home of her career before planning to retire after more than 120 appearances for the side.

“The game could have gone either way, but the bounce of the ball evaded us,” Taylor said after the match.

He was grateful for the level of support from Cambridge fans.

The cup final result means Cambridge has finished in second place in both the cup and the Women’s A League this season.

Meanwhile, Cambridge’s top men’s teams did not play last weekend but head to Auckland this Saturday for their final fixtures in the Lotto NRFL competition.

The first team play champions Takapuna at Taharoto Park, Auckland, at 3pm while the Reds’ reserves play the early game at 12.30pm.

That game will decide which of the two clubs will win the NRFL reserves competition. Cambridge and Takapuna are level on points, with the Aucklanders having a slightly better goal difference.

Takapuna take the title with a win or draw while Cambridge know only a win will be good enough.

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