• Rovers Chatham Cup hopes dashed

Rovers Chatham Cup hopes dashed

Napier City Rovers football side's hopes of retaining the Chatham Cup have ended.

The Bill Robertson (pictured above)-coached Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers team lost 3-0 to Western Suburbs in a third-round Cup fixture in Wellington today. Rovers won the Cup, New Zealand's most prestigious piece of football silverware, in 2019 and it wasn't played for last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Western Suburbs opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a goal to Otto Ingham. A superb header from Ollie van Rijssel in the 18th minute gave the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Rovers forward Zac Madsen had a good chance to score in the 25th minute but it was saved by Suburbs keeper Kees Sims. Western Suburbs maintained their 2-0 lead until the halftime whistle despite the Blues creating plenty of opportunities.

Ingham gave the hosts a 3-0 lead 23 minutes into the second half when he succeeded with a shot from the penalty spot.

Sixth-placed Napier City Rovers host second-placed Wellington Olympic in a 12 round Central League fixture next Sunday.

Meanwhile, Havelock North Wanderers retained the top spot in Central Football's Federation League with an away 8-0 drubbing of Palmerston North's North End yesterday. The villagers led 3-0 at halftime.

"We were a bit special and there were some exceptional goals," Wanderers coach Chris Greatholder said.

Striker Dakota Lucas scored three goals for the visitors, Bjorn Christensen and Bradley Perks two each and captain Jerome Groot one.

Midfielder Oli Chapman had his best game of the season and fellow midfielder Vince Mackirdy also shone in the polished team effort. Wanderers have the bye next weekend.