Holders Birkenhead United handed tough draw in Chatham Cup quarterfinals
Defending champions Birkenhead United have been handed a tough test in the next round of club football's national men's knockout competition, but will at least get to play at home.
They will host fellow Aucklanders Onehunga Sports in the quarterfinals of the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup, after the draw was made on Tuesday.
The two teams currently sit at the top of the Northern Premier League, where Onehunga enjoy an eight-point lead with six games remaining. Onehunga won the first meeting between the two sides this season 3-0, while the second ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the other quarterfinals, Auckland's Central United will host Wairarapa United, Western Suburbs will host Bay Olympic in Wellington, and Nelson Suburbs will host Cashmere Technical in a Mainland region derby.
Nelson Suburbs have returned to the competition after a four-year absence prompted by concerns over travel costs, and will be grateful for the home tie after a trip to Queenstown in the previous round, but face a tough opponent in Cashmere Technical, who have beaten them three times in the Mainland Premier League this season.
Western Suburbs currently sit at the top of the Central League, and will be favourites at home against Bay Olympic, who sit fourth in the Northern Premier League, but are closer to the relegation zone than they are to the leaders.
Central United will also be favourites to advance when they play Wairarapa United at their Kiwitea St home, in a match that will feature plenty of national league players, but only slightly. Wairarapa currently sit second in the Central League, while Central are fifth in the Northern Premier League.
All of the eight teams remaining have made the semifinals at least once in their history, but Onehunga, Nelson and Bay Olympic have never lifted the Cup, which has been contested since 1923.
The four quarterfinals will be played on the weekend of August 5 and 6, with exact dates and times to be confirmed in the coming days.
The quarterfinals of the National Women's Knockout Cup will take place on the same weekend, with the draw for that competition made following the previous round at the end of June.
In Auckland, Glenfield Rovers will host Forrest Hill Milford, in a North Shore derby that doubles as a rematch of last year's final, which Forrest Hill won on penalties, and Eastern Suburbs will host Three Kings United, in a match that brings together the two title contenders in the Northern Premier Women's League.
In the central region, Upper Hutt City will host Palmerston North Marist, another battle of title contenders, this time in Capital Football's W-League; while in the south, Coastal Spirit from Christchurch travel to play Dunedin Technical.
The semifinals of both competitions will be held on the weekend of August 26 and 27, with the finals to follow a fortnight later on September 10.
Chatham Cup quarterfinals (to be played August 5-6)
Central United v Wairarapa United
Western Suburbs v Bay Olympic
Birkenhead United v Onehunga Sports
Nelson Suburbs v Cashmere Technical
National Women's Knockout Cup quarterfinals
Glenfield Rovers v Forrest Hill Milford; August 6, 1pm
Eastern Suburbs v Three Kings United; August 6, 1pm
Upper Hutt City v Palmerston North Marist; August 5, 12pm
Dunedin Technical v Coastal Spirit; August 5, 12.30pm