Captain's hat-trick key to Taradale footballers' victory
Captain Cara O'Neill led her Taradale Women's Federation Cup football side by example today.
O'Neill (pictured above left) scored a hat-trick in her side's away 4-3 victory against New Plymouth. The win gave Taradale a three-point lead at the top of the points table.
Taradale missed a couple of key defenders who were unavailable for the overnight trip. But this didn't stop the visitors from establishing a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Player-coach Aleesha Heywood and O'Neill scored Taradale's first half goals. When Heywood was forced from the field with an ankle injury late in the first half O'Neill stepped up and showed why she was handed the captaincy.
She banged in two second half goals to complete her hat-trick and give Taradale a 4-1 lead. Tired legs and lack of subs took its toll in the last 10 minutes with New Plymouth scoring two of their own but Taradale held on to win.
O'Neill claimed three MVP points, Hollie Gee two and Olivia Harding one. This completed an unbeaten weekend for the Taradale club with their men’s prems and division two teams having wins and the masters a draw on Saturday.
The reserves team had a bye. Today also saw both Hawke's Bay competition women's teams having wins.
Next Sunday sees all three women’s teams playing at Taradale Park with a derby match between the two local teams at 10.30am and the Federation team in action at 1pm.