Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts proved too powerful for mid-table Papamoa, winning 5-1 at the Domain on Saturday to stay second on the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership table.
The Swifts began brightly and hit the front after only seven minutes when Jordane Lambert drove the ball home after excellent work from Chris Walker.
Dwayne Signal had a seemingly good goal ruled out, while Papamoa’s keeper made two notable saves to keep Matamata’s lead to a single goal at the break.
The visitors had a player sent off for retaliation on the half hour mark and, while that didn’t immediately alter the flow of the game, it was to prove costly during the last 25 minutes.
Papamoa equalised eight minutes after the re-start when the Swifts failed to deal with a routine free kick. Their keeper pulled off another three superb saves during a frustrating period for Matamata, but the hosts persevered.
The Swifts re-took the lead with 23 minutes left. Andrew Clothier played in Raphael Berthelot who sprinted past a tiring defence and finished easily. Three minutes later Walker was rewarded for his excellent performance when he nodded home Matamata’s third.
It was left to substitute, Ben Vogt, on his first team debut, to apply the coup de gras, firing home twice in the final 15 minutes.
Matamata still trails leaders, Ngongotaha, by three points but have stretched their lead over the third placed side (now Cambridge) to four points.
In other games at the Domain on Saturday, the Richardson Racing Stables Swifts reserves pushed WaiBOP Championship leaders all the way, but were unlucky to lose 3-2, while the Swifts A team picked up their first win of the season. Goals to Ramandeep Singh and Logan Raynel had the reserves in front at the break before two second half penalties, one of which was hotly contested, allowed the Hamiltonians to escape with all three points.
The reserves were again missing a number of regulars but put in another sturdy showing against a good team in what was difficult conditions.
The A team beat Te Awamutu 4-2 thanks to doubles from Ronan Costello and Jamie Cox. The team has been much improved in recent weeks and it’s fair to say this result was coming. The side worked hard for each other, took their goals when the chances came, and were a little unlucky not to score one or two more. A result like this is great reward for a side that has struggled, at times, in 2016. But they’re on the up now and can now look forward positively to the rest of the season.
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies match was postponed, while the Swifts under-13s had a bye.
Open Grade: Matamata Jets 4-1 Hamilton West (Goals: Braedyn Henderson, Sam Hills, Anton Ganas 2. Player of the Day: Jayden Hunter-Martin). Matamata Falcons – Bye.
11th Grade: Matamata Dragons 14-0 Ngahinapouri (Goals: Reilly Benefield 4, Jake Fannin 4, Jack Rawiri 2, Dylan Brown, Anshil Dayal, Oscar Donderwinkel, Catherin Hardie. POD: Jake Fannin). Matamata Tigers – Bye.
10th Grade: Matamata Rebels 3-0 Northern United (Goals: Liam Costello-McVeigh, Jack Tims, Josh Martin. POD: ?).
9th Grade: Matamata Eagles 2-1 Tamahere (Goals: Harrison Smith, Jason Li. PODs: Zeb Mataitoga, Harrison Smith). Matamata Strikers 0-1 Vardon (POD: ?).