The form book went out the window when eight VUWAFC sides participated in the inaugural Roy Dickson Cup. An early Sunday morning start didn’t deter the roughly 70 players that gathered on Boyd-Wilson for the 7-a-side tournament.
This was one of the events to celebrate the club’s 75th anniversary, open to all club teams below the senior squads. The Accies and Beavers were top seeds. They were joined by the Scarfies, Unicorns, Wanderers, Cycles, Women’s Unified and the club newcomers, the revitalised Unibrow.
Omens weren’t good when one of the Women’s Unified players dislocated a finger in the first minute of the first game against the Scarfies. However, that was only serious casualty for the day, unless you count a mustard bottle that exploded during the BBQ.
The Wanderers caused the first upset, scoring in the last minute of its match to beat the Accies one-nil. Surprise package in pool play were the Unibrow; they beat the Accies and the Wanderers to take out Group One. In Group Two, the Beavers won all three of its three matches to finish top, followed by the Unicorns.
Unibrow continued their form into the quarters, beating the Women’s Unified. The Beavers, Cycles and Accies also won (the Accies took out the Unicorns 1-0). In the semi-finals the Unibrow defeated the Accies 1-0, while the Beavers-Cycles match finished in a scoreless draw. The teams went straight to a penalty shootout; the Beavers’ keeper saved twice to send his side through to the final.
The Beavers had most of the play from kick-off, and almost scored in the first minute. However, the Unibrow opened the scoring, with a strike that was almost a replica of Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final. It hit the underside of the bar, crossed the line then bounced back in to the field of play. The Beavers launched a series of attacks on the Unibrow goal, with two shots going close. However, the Unibrow hung on until the final whistle, taking the cup with a 1-0 victory.
It was a remarkable victory, with the Unibrow going undefeated all day. That bodes well for the new team’s prospects in the regular season. Other highlights included the Scarfies winning the consolation final, and one of the Unicorn players scoring a mere 11 seconds after kick-off in a win over the Wanderers.
Thank you to all the teams that attended, and for Si, Michael and Matt helping out; we hope to make the tournament even bigger next year, with more teams, referees and a better quality of mustard…
Roy Dickson was one of the club’s founding members in 1943. He was a war evacuee from Scotland, arriving here in 1940. He was club secretary and selected for NZ Universities after the first two winter tournaments. He was killed in a climbing accident on New Year’s Day 1947, during a VUW tramping club trip to the Southern Alps. He was 21. Roy is one of the many players we’ll be honouring during the year. Keep reading our newsletters and the Facebook page for more details on our 75th year events.
On Saturday 24 March, the Men’s and Women’s first team took part in the inaugural university exchange with Massey University in Palmerston North. Match reports for each game can be found below.
Women’s Game: Victoria University 2 – 1 Massey University
The women’s game was played first. With the bad weather staying away and the pitch in perfect condition, both teams looked to play attractive football and control the tempo of the game. Chances fell to both sides in the early stages of the game, before Massey managed to find the break through in the 30th minute. With the goal spurring Victoria to push forwards, the lead did not last long, with a perfectly weighted through ball finding Eden Kleiman, who calmly slotted home the equaliser to level the scores at 1-1.
The second half continued where the first half left off. Victoria were feeling confident and playing well in the attacking half. Good combination play through the midfield and wide players created many opportunities. Having pressured Massey’s defence frequently, the winner was finally found when Claudia Wheler hit a belter of a left-footed volley into the left hand side of the goal. 2-1 to Victoria.
The goal to Victoria forced Massey to push forwards in order to try and find an equaliser. Under the added pressure, the Victoria defence was up to the challenge and stayed strong, with Izzy Boyd playing a key role in CDM, stopping any Massey counter attacks in their tracks.
2-1 the game finished, with Briar Mortensen picking up player of the day for an excellent performance at right centre back.
The team finished their pre-season with a 2-2 draw against Seatoun on Thursday 29 March and now look forward to the start of the season, which kicks off on Sunday 8 April.
Men’s Game: Victoria University 1 – 1 Massey University
The men’s game started at an electric pace, with Massey dominating the early stages of the game. Having come out of an early barrage without conceding any goals, Victoria adjusted to the speed of the game and started playing some good football. With a few chances falling for both teams, Victoria managed to score from a rebounded shot to make it 1-0. However, having just scored, it took no longer than 2 minutes for Victoria to concede, with Massey finding an equaliser from a very tight angle. 1-1 at the half-time break.
The game continued at a great pace. With on and off downpours of rain throughout, the game became a real battle for both sides. The game finished as a 1-1 draw, however, a friendly penalty-shootout was played out to provide some added entertainment for the crowd.
Taking both games into account, the aggregate score came out as 3-2 to Victoria University, meaning that they took away the shield for the year. Below are images of the winning women’s team and the captains of the women’s and men’s team holding the trophy (Renee Wadsworth and Simon Davies). Both clubs look forward to the fixture next year!