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Football fans urged to support Wellington women semi-finalists By Jamie Adams

Wellington United’s women’s team, who have just secured the W-League title for the second time in three seasons have their sights set for national glory this weekend. United have made it to the semi-final of the Kate Sheppard Cup, where they will play Dunedin Technical, the Football South Champions, on Saturday. The Kate Sheppard Cup is the National Women’s Knockout Cup. It was renamed this year in honour of 125 years since women got the vote in New Zealand. This is the first time Wellington United, a club which coincidentally also celebrated 125 years of existence this year, have had a team make it this far in the women’s competition. Wellington United historian Dave Webster says the club would like to get a sizeable crowd along to support the team in a special year for them. “It is significant for Wellington United as it is our 125th anniversary and it was one of our family of clubs, Hungaria, that set up the first women’s football club in New Zealand in 1970,” Dave says. “They’ve been going seriously in the women’s league since Wellington City merged with Hungaria in 2006.” Dave believes Wellington has a good chance of winning, with seven of its players having played in the Capital National League. The game is on this Saturday, August 25 at Newtown Park. Kick-off is at 2pm with a gold-coin donation to enter.

RUGBY RESULTS 85KG RESTRICTED (TONY O’BRIEN SHIELD) Johnsonville drew with Wellington FC 17-17 Standings Johnsonville 5 Wellington FC 4 Marist St Pats 1 Western Suburbs 0 RESERVE GRADE (JOHN DAVIES CUP) Marist St Pats beat Paremata-Plimmerton 27-15 Upper Hutt Rams beat Western Suburbs 32-10

Thursday August 23, 2018

SPORT

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Puncture robs unicyclist Ken of gold medal in international event By Glenise Dreaver

“I was very close!” says Grenada Village’s Ken Looi, back with a silver medal in the 100km road race at the 19th Unicycle World Championships and Convention (Unicon 19) in Ansan, South Korea. Ken had good reason to be disappointed. In the biennial championships, which he has attended since 2004, he has consistently placed in the top three, but only won the world championship once, in 2006. This time, it was a puncture that robbed him of his six-minute lead and left him chasing the field. “But in a four-hour race, there is time to chase.” “I heard hissing and knew I had to get off quickly.” (A puncture on a unicycle is, after all, only going to have one outcome – and takes precious time to sort out.) Forty-year-old Ken trained with a daily unicycle ride to and from work at Peninsula Medical Centre, where he is a GP, for eight months preceding the event. With home in Grenada Village, and the centre in Miramar, that’s an hour and 20 minutes each way. “I come from a bicycling background. And I still do a bit of running,” he says, adding that he will probably be back on the bicycle now the world champs are over. Why unicycling? He got interested 18 years ago, “It looked a bit of fun. “I used to race mountain bikes and then realised that mountain-unicycling was a thing, so got into long distance unicycling that way” he says of the sport that

Unic yclist Ken Looi of Grenada Village regularly cycles to Miramar. P H O T O : Jamie Adams.

has become such a big part of his life. Other members of the New Zealand team also did well, with Sam La Hood of Auckland winning gold in the women’s slopestyle street competition on an urban obstacle course and demonstrating tricks. Christian Huriwai, also of Auckland and a three-time former street world

champion, won bronze despite an injury requiring hospital treatment mid-competition. The other team members, Chris Aitken and Tony Melton, both achieved age-group placings in the street competition and road races respectively. Over 1100 unicyclists from 30 countries attended the 12-day event.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

FOOTBALL RESULTS Men’s CENTRAL LEAGUE Miramar Rangers v Waterside Karori Wellington United v Stop Out CAPITAL PREMIER Island Bay United v Miramar Rangers CAPITAL 1 Brooklyn Northern United v Tawa CAPITAL 2 Seatoun AFC v Wellington Olympic COLLEGE PREMIER St Pats v Wairarapa Scots College v Tawa College Rongotai College v Silverstream Wellington College v HIBS Women’s W LEAGUE Wellington United v Western Suburbs Seatoun AFC v Upper Hutt City PREMIER LEAGUE Island Bay United v Stop Out

Steady as she goes for cricket’s next chapter 1-2 0-2 1-1 3-0 3-1 8-1 4-1 1-2 0-3

12-0 5-1 3-3

Gary Stead’s appointment as Black Caps coach was the only logical choice. It’s certainly a changing of the guard with Mike Hesson departing after more than six years in charge. As a cricket tragic, the observations suggest the former Canterbury and Black Caps opening batsman will take over a side that has hit its apex and is on the way down. While players like Trent Boult, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are rightly considered world class, there are plenty of questions around other spots. Stead, who has been involved with Canterbury cricket for more than 20 years, will have to get the best out of his two provincial players. Wicket-keeper/ batsman Tom Latham and middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls have the chance to

cement spots in the national team in all three formats of the game, but each have their issues. Latham has had some quality innings, especially on foreign soil but he hasn’t produced it consistently to silence the knockers. The same could be said for Nicholls who has not had that break-through innings yet and has largely maintained his No 5 batting spot because there hasn’t been a better or adequate alternative. Williamson is a class act but Taylor, at 34, is in the twilight of his career. Both Cantabrians will need a statement year under Stead to keep their international careers on track. The other two issues will be how to get pace bowler Tim Southee back to somewhere near his peak 2015 performance and working out who is our best spin bowling option.

For me, it’s leg spinner Ish Sodhi but variables like Todd Astle and Mark Craig have all been tried with no real success. Can Stead get the best out of Colin Munro, who seems to be a gem in the twenty20 format but terrible at the longer forms of the game? Stead has been quoted as saying he wants to focus on small gains initially and that’s a reasonable approach and expectation. After a period of unrivalled continued success under Hesson, Kiwi cricket fans could be forgiven for forgetting how middle-of-the-road this team was before it. Stead comes across as a steady pair of hands, much like he was as a player. Dependable, reliable but not flashy. He deserves time and patience, as cricket in New Zealand moves into a new era.

Cook Strait News 23-08-18  

Cook Strait News 23-08-18

Cook Strait News 23-08-18  

Cook Strait News 23-08-18