Cambridge women’s team have reached their fourth knockout final in six seasons after a come-from-behind win against old rivals Claudelands Rovers.
The Andrew Taylor-coached team beat Rovers 3-1 at Galloway Park to take their place in the final of this season’s Waikato Women’s Cup to be held on Sunday August 26.
They will play West Hamilton United who beat Melville United in the other cup semi-final.
Cambridge got off to a poor start in their semi-final, wasting a few chances and allowing Rovers to take an early lead.
Gemma Martin brought Cambridge back into the game with an excellent long range goal, making it 1-1 at half-time.
The Cambridge team regrouped at the break and came out firing.
Striker Astrid Howarth latched onto a through ball from Maria Cameron to fire home her 21st goal of the season.
The crucial point in the match came when a Rovers player handled in the area and the referee awarded a penalty.
Cambridge captain and long-time goalkeeper Jen Hull took responsibility for the spot kick (pictured) and scored to make it 3-1, and earn her side a place in the final – a game that could well herald Hull’s own retirement as a player.
While the players celebrated their success, they reserved a few thoughts for Abby Hartley, the Cambridge supporter who is seriously ill in a Bali hospital. The players wore red armbands for the semi-final as a show of support for Reds player Toby Hartley who is in Bali with his mother.
After the match, coach Taylor named Cameron as the Hill Homes Player of the Day and said Hull, Abby Cook and Maddy Burnett deserved special mentions for their contributions to the win.
Main photo: Cambridge players, coaching staff and supporters celebrate their semi-final victory.
Cambridge’s cup record
In 2013, Claudelands Rovers beat Cambridge in the Waikato Women’s Cup final but a year later, Cambridge turned the tables, bringing the 2014 trophy back to John Kerkhof Park.
Cambridge were also beaten finalists in 2015 and reached the final of the Waikato Plate in 2016.
Message for Abby Hartley
The Cambridge team recorded a message of support for Abby Hartley who is in a Bali hospital in an induced coma.