Papakura promoted to NRFL

Papakura have won promotion back to the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Division for the first time since 2013 after a 4-1 away win at Tauranga City United.

The Auckland Football Federation based club earned their spot in the play-off series by comfortably taking out the AFF/NFF Women’s Conference League by a staggering 12 points.

With a scoreless first leg at McLennan Park, Papakura went into the second leg off the back of a week’s training focussing on their attacking play.

“Considering it was nil all in the first game, we spent the week focussing on our attack particularly our combination play and setting up goals in and around the 18 yard box,” Papakura Captain Sophie Leidh said.

“That was the main focus of our training sessions so we could come down to Tauranga and put away some goals.”

And so they did with goals to Amanda Wilson, Elizabeth Takerei and a brace to Olivia Williams sealing a comfortable victory.

“I thought we played really well today, particularly in the first half,” Leidh said.

“We came out really strong and we dominated a lot in that half; In the second half, Tauranga started really strong but we came back just as strong and managed to dominate till the end of the game.”

Leidh and her team mates season is not quite done yet, with a clean sweep of league, promotion and cup on the line.

Thursday evening sees ‘Kura face the only side to hand them a defeat this season, Central United, in the AFF Women’s Knockout Cup Semi-Final.

A victory here will see them take on Fencibles United on Sunday 24 September in the Final.

“It would be amazing,” Leidh said of completing a clean sweep.

“it would prove how hard we have worked all season and how far we’ve come as a team. To win the cup would be the icing on the cake.”

Papakura replace Northland in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier Division for 2018.