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Taieri defeated Kings 6-0 to retain the shield

The Taieri Tuataras touched their wrists for the first time in 2024, beating Kings United 6-0 to retain the Challenge Shield.

Since Taieri had somewhat struggled past Albany and the University Whales, it was expected that an undefeated Kings side would give them some trouble as well, but that wasn’t really the case.

Jordan Ward fired the ball home after just 122 seconds, sparking a barely believable start to the match.

Manu Henderson scored one from close range five minutes later, before a tricky touch from James Nicolson made it three 90 seconds later.

Taieri wasn’t done there yet, as Sam Young got the whole circle to himself less than a minute later. He made no mistake and within ten minutes the match was virtually over.

Kings did their best to get back into it, but really remained in damage control mode after a disastrous start.

Their pain was not over yet, as Solomon Baldock managed to mislead the keeper with a clever slice to make it 5-0 before half-time.

To their credit, Kings removed their goalkeeper for the final 10 minutes in an attempt to chase a consolation goal. However, it only led to Henderson completing the rout when he fired into an empty net in the closing stages.

Player availability certainly had an impact on Kings with key figures James Nation, Charles Darling and Daniel Torr all unavailable, but it was still a day they would be happy to forget.

In the second best men’s match, the Southland Barbarians recorded their first victory, overcoming a University Panthers team who were trailing in numbers, presumably due to a certain party 600 meters away.

Credit must still go to Southland, who were well worth the 2-0 win.

It was a tough day for the college’s top teams as the Whales were defeated 2-0 by the Albany Alligators.

Albany left their point late, but two second-half goals for Johnny Thorn proved enough.

In the premier women’s competition, it was largely a case of ‘business as usual’.

The impressive Momona defeated Taieri 4-0, leaving the opponent with little sight of goal.

There was a little surprise in the next match when the University Stingrays gave the Kings United women a huge scare.

Traditionally the Stingrays were the team to take the wooden spoon, but it went blow for blow with a promising Kings team, but Kings came home 3-2, largely thanks to a brace from Lizzie Perry.

In the final game of the day, the City Highlanders proved too strong for the University Huskies and achieved a 3-1 victory. The Huskies were brave, but goals from Hayley Cox, Anna McLean and Georgia Dagg lifted the defending champions to victory.

—Nicholas Friedlander