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Latest Central & Mainland PWL Review
Three Hat-Tricks Send Spirit Soaring
by Jeremy Ruane
The rare feat of three separate hat-tricks in the same match sent Coastal Spirit soaring to the top of the Mainland Premier Women's League table on April 14, the reigning champions regaining the lead on goal difference from their bye-bound arch-rivals, Cashmere Technical.

In a goal-fest at Halswell Domain, Spirit prevailed 9-3 over Halswell United, who fought back well in the second half thanks to goals from Jenny Murkin, Bryony Bunting and Baylee Williams.

"The Hawks" were 5-0 down at half-time, and eventually succumbed to hat-tricks from Arna Roberts, Cody Taylor and Mel Cameron, who was denied another goal by the offside flag.

Across town at Kendall Park, Waimakariri United were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-placed Canterbury Universities, for whom the Ashleighs, Leonard and Patient, were on target in a match which saw the home team celebrating the strikes of Ella Fong and Abby de Visser.

The first quarter of the season concludes on Saturday when Cashmere welcome Waimakariri to Garrick Memorial Park, while the students entertain the title-holders at Ilam Fields.

Across Cook Strait, Wellington United are the only team boasting a perfect record after two rounds of Capital W-League action, although they were made to work hard for it at Seatoun Park.
Maddie Pigou-Williams turned home a Jemma Robertson cross to give "Diamonds" a half-time lead, but Grace Surridge had Seatoun back on level terms soon after the interval.

The contest was decided by Dani Ohlsson, who had a goal disallowed but had another one awarded, a strike which earned United a 2-1 victory and the outright lead in the competition.

The other matches in the round ended all-square. Thanks to two goals from Jessie Falloon and one from Jess Mason, Marist Palmerston North came from 3-1 down at half-time to earn a 3-3 draw at Memorial Park with league newcomers Western Suburbs, who failed to provide their goalscorers.

Meanwhile, at Maidstone Park, Carolyn O'Reilly scored early in the second half to give Upper Hutt City the edge over Wairarapa United, whose equaliser materialised with the last kick of the game, although exactly who scored it is unclear.

One thing's for sure - either United's Rosie Aitkenhead or a City own goal brought about the final 1-1 scoreline, a result which gets the reigning champions' season up and running.

Next Saturday, Wellington and Marist meet at Newtown Park from 11am in what is shaping up to be a key match in terms of the title race. At 1pm at Masterton Memorial Park, Wairarapa welcome Seatoun to town, while ninety minutes later, Wests and City meet at Endeavour Park.


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