June 18, 2012
AUCKLAND – The road to a first ASB Women’s Knockout Cup title for Coastal Spirit and Massey has just got tougher after both teams were drawn away for the semi finals in late July, but at least one of the coaches has welcomed the draw.
Christchurch’s Coastal Spirit, who were losing finalists last year, face Three Kings United in Auckland while Palmerston North’s Massey will also head north to meet 2010 champions Claudelands Rovers in Hamilton.
Three Kings have been struggling in the Northern Premier League this season but made light of that form by knocking out joint league leaders and defending ASB Women’s Knockout Cup champions Glenfield Rovers in a thrilling quarterfinal on Sunday.
No team outside Auckland or Hamilton has won the competition since Christchurch’s Nomads won the inaugural final in 1994 but Coastal Spirit’s coach Gareth Turnbull says pitting his team against a Northern League side is exactly the sort of test they want.
“Drawing Three Kings was my preferred outcome and we didn't’t really mind if that was home or away,” Turnbull said.
“We’re 12 months on from the final and have matured a lot. We want to test ourselves against a Northern League team and looking at the table, Three Kings are potentially not as strong as Claudelands.”
Coastal Spirit have so far maintained an unbeaten record in league and cup action this season but three times cup winners Three Kings will be the Cantabrians’ toughest match yet.
“Home advantage is in their favour and if the TAB were offering odds then we’d happily take the underdogs tag, but we’ve got confidence in our own ability.
“Making the final last year when no one expected us to put us on the map and means no one will take us lightly.”
The winners of the two semi finals will meet in the final on August 26.
View the full draw and results so far.