Day 2: Open Womens Counties-Manukau v Waikato Match Report
Traditional rivals in the womens grade, Waikato met Counties in the first round of Day Two. These two teams always provide an exciting and evenly contested match and with improved conditions the base was set for fast, attacking touch football.
Mere Nock scored the first touchdown of the match in the first minute as Waikato looked to prove their first day form was no fluke. Jordon Rogers step left her Waikato marker missing in action and she fed Hilda Peters who made it 1-1.
Both teams were creating plenty of exciting play in an end to end contest. Jordan Webber put Waikato ahead 2-1 after chopping into a hole and diving onto a perfect short pass. This was no mean feat as both teams were tenacious on defence with lively save defence on the five. Melissa-Jane Buchanan looked threatening for Counties and when both Waikato defenders hesitated, she dived between both of them to level the scores again.
Nock scored her second for an energetic Waikato side right before halftime as she followed up a sideline break from Chyna Hohepa and collected the inside ball to proceed into the ingoal untouched. Halftime score 3-2: Waikato.
Lillian Pompey extended Waikato’s advantage part way into the second half as a well-executed late cut left two defenders grasping at thin air. The match then followed a period of inactivity as both sides battled for the initiative, at last five minutes passed without much incident before the speedy Marama Davis broke clear on the scoop. She fed Ashlynn Woodham-Enosa for the easy finish. Counties now trailed by one.
At one point Waikato looked to be controlling this match but Counties drew level deep in the second half with a second touchdown from Buchanan. In similar fashion to her first she dove underneath the Waikato defence from close range. The match now level again, Waikato highlighted their title credentials by scoring from the restart set. Pompey slipped through the line and dished an assist to an unmarked Webber in what turned out to be the winning play.
Final score: 5-4 Waikato