Wellington United have sounded an early warning to the rest of the W-League teams with a resounding win over defending champions Upper Hutt City.
A Jemma Robertson hat-trick ensured Wellington were in cruise control for most of their 4-0 win at Newtown Park after Genevieve Berry got their first goal in just the eighth minute.
But they could face stern opposition this season from Palmerston North Marist, who laid down their early-season credentials with a 4-1 win over Seatoun on Wellington’s south coast. Torijan Tyne-Lewis matched Robertson’s effort with a hat-trick of her own, getting all three of her goals in a 19-minute spurt in the first half.
Wairarapa United got the first W-League win in their history after going winless in the inaugural season last year when beating newcomers Western Suburbs 3-0. That wasn’t the worst result for Wests given they were still holding open trials for players the week before the competition started after Stop Out were a late withdrawal.
Wellington United’s men’s team also kept their fast start going in the Ultra Football Central League with a 6-0 thrashing of Havelock North Wanderers. Willem Ebbinge was their chief destroyer this week with a hat-trick, although last week’s four-goal man Calvin Harris also chipped in with one in the 25th minute, which made it 4-0 at that stage, to maintain his lead in the Golden Boot standings.
Napier City Rovers, Stop Out, and Wellington Olympic all moved to six points with wins over the weekend, opening up a four-point gap to fifth-placed Western Suburbs at this early stage.
Napier were too strong for Miramar Rangers, winning 4-1, while Stop Out eased past Lower Hutt City in the Hutt Valley Derby with a 2-1 win, and Olympic were 3-2 winners over Waterside Karori.
The top-two from last year, Western Suburbs and Wairarapa United, played out a 1-1 draw.
In the Capital Premier division, Petone’s early-season struggles continued with a 3-1 loss to Miramar’s reserves. All the goals came in the final half hours of that one.
Lower Hutt’s reserves are pacing the rest of the field with six points after they beat Island Bay United 1-0.
Kapiti Coast United remain winless after a 2-0 loss to Upper Hutt City, while Wests’ reserves beat Olympic’s reserves 4-0, and North Wellington and Tawa played out a scoreless draw.
In the opening round of the Women's Premier competition, Wellington United's Sapphires followed the lead of their W-League team in completely dominating Stop Out. The 9-0 win indicates that last season's runaway winners are the team to beat again in 2018.
Elsewhere, Brooklyn Northern United also had a comfortable win, beating Island Bay 4-0. The other two games were decided by a single goal as Victoria University and Waterside Karori enjoyed winning starts to the season.
W-League first round results
Wellington United 4 (Jemma Robertson 16’ 44’ 59’, Genevieve Berry 8’) Upper Hutt City 0. HT: 3-0Palmerston North Marist 4 (Torijan Lyne-Lewis (23’ 38’ 42’, Jessica Mason 52’ Seatoun 1 (Grace Surridge 71’). HT: 3-0Wairarapa United 3 (Ashleigh Gill 27’ 50’, Anna McPhie 75’) Western Suburbs 0. HT:1-0
Standings: Wellington United 3, Palmerston North Marist 3, Wairarapa United 3, Seatoun 0, Western Suburbs 0, Upper Hutt City 0
Golden Boot: 3: Torijan Lyne-Lewis (PN Marist), Jemma Robertson (Wellington United); 2: Ashleigh Gill
Ultra Football Central League round two results
Wellington United 6 (Willem Ebbinge 17’ 50’ 75’, Ben Waine 22’, Max Batchelor 23’, Calvin Harris 25’) Havelock North Wanderers 0. HT: 4-0Wellington Olympic 3 (Seth Ward 21’, Birhanu Taye 54’ 65’) Waterside Karori 2 (Kim Kyung Dong 1’, Christian Johnson 79’). HT: 1-1Stop Out 2 (Jerram Tuck 10’, Cherbel Khouchaba 51’) Lower Hutt City 1 (Sekou Diane 55’). HT: 1-0Wairarapa United 1 (Seule Solomon 12’) Western Suburbs 1 (Eli Just 32’). HT: 1-1Napier City Rovers 4 (Martin Bueno 3’, Sho Goto 24’, Jamie Wilkinson 36’ Zac Madsen 90+1’ Miramar Rangers 1 (Forbes Nyatsanza 36’) . HT: 3-1
Standings: Wellington 6, Napier 6, Stop Out 6, Olympic 6, Wests 2, Lower Hutt 1, Wairarapa 1, Waterside Karori 0, Havelock North 0, Miramar 0
Golden Boot: 5: Calvin Harris (Wellington United); 3: Willem Ebbinge (Wellington United), Jerram Tuck (Stop Out), Ben Waine (Wellington United); 2: Martin Bueno (Napier City Rovers), Wesley Cain (Napier City Rovers), Ryan Cain (Waterside Karori), Kyung Dong Kim (Waterside Karori), Patryk Misik (Napier City Rovers), Birhanu Taye (Wellington Olympic), Seth Ward (Wellington Olympic)
Capital Premier round two results
North Wellington 0 Tawa 0. HT: 0-0Western Suburbs 4 (Falaima Mokeni 45’ 47’, Sean Bright 24’, Michael Fraser 90+2’) Wellington Olympic 0. HT: 2-0Upper Hutt City 2 (Matthew Fong 7’, Stephen Thomas 54’) Kapiti Coast United 0. HT: 1-0Lower Hutt City 1 (Mohammad Hekmatzadah 45’) Island Bay United 0. HT: 1-0Miramar 3 (Josh Murphy 72’, Ben Lack 88’, Charles Atkinson-Kos 89’) Petone 1 (Taeh Hser 89’). HT: 0-0
Standings: Lower Hutt 6, North Wellington 4, Upper Hutt 4, Tawa 4, Wests 3, Miramar 3, Island Bay 1, Petone 1, Olympic 1, Kapiti 0
Golden Boot: 2: Charles Atkinson-Kos (Miramar Rangers), Matthew Fong (Upper Hutt City), Mohammad Hekmatzadah (Lower Hutt City), Taeh Hser (Petone), Falaima Mokeni (Western Suburbs), Josh Murphy (Miramar Rangers)
Women's Premier first round results
Wellington United Sapphires 9 Stop Out 0Island Bay United Flames 0 Brooklyn Northern United 4Kapiti Coast United 2 Victoria University 3Waterside Karori 1 Petone 0
Standings: Wellington United Sapphires 3, Brooklyn Northern United 3, Victoria University 3, Waterside Karori 3, Kapiti Coast United 0, Petone 0, Island Bay United Flames 0, Stop Out 0
Image: Holly Kelman of the Wellington United Sapphires fires off a shot in their opening round Women's Premier clash with Stop Out. Photo by Michael Welsh.