Wairarapa United a top act

WALT DICKSON
Last updated 09:35 14/06/2012
Wairarapa United
WALT DICKSON

ARM WRESTLE: Wairarapa United striker Paul Ryder, left, wrestles for the ball with Western Suburbs defender Dane Rayner during the Central League match in Carterton. Ryder scored two goals in Wairarapa's 5-1 win.

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Wairarapa United are continuing to be the best show in town as they push towards a first-ever Central League Championship title.

Their 5-1 demolition of one-time champions Western Suburbs in Carterton last weekend was sheer football entertainment from start to finish. Wairarapa United's flair and skill has to date been a cut above all other oppositions that have come up against them.

But for the uninitiated wanting to join the party at Howard Booth Park they are going to have to wait because the show hits the road for the next two weeks.

Wairarapa United is away to Lower Hutt City this weekend and head north to Napier the next for a Chatham Cup round three tie with arch rivals Napier City Rovers.

Though no team can be taken for granted in the Central League, mid-table Lower Hutt should be no match for Wairarapa United at Bell Park this Saturday. The Chatham Cup match, however, promises to be tight. Wairarapa beat Napier City Rovers in the 2011 final 2-1 on neutral territory in Palmerston North. Playing at home will be a huge advantage for Napier, Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley says.

"The combination of the trip up and then playing at home in front of a very vocal crowd will make it very tough for us," Keinzley says.

The Chatham Cup is the ultimate football trophy in New Zealand. Wairarapa United won it for the first time last year. Napier has won it six times. Wairarapa has had the wood on Napier in recent seasons twice beating them in the Central League last year. Wairarapa have continued their dominance in 2012 with a 1-nil win in April. Napier is now third on the table, five points behind leaders Wairarapa.

Last weekend's result has Wairarapa on 23 points. Striker Suele Soromon became the competition's top goal scorer, adding two to his tally of 10. Paul Ryder also scored a brace, with Tim Schaeffers scoring late in the match.

He did not get his name on the score sheet but it was perhaps captain and central defender Nathan Cooksley who stole the show with another superb all- round performance.

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