The off-season can’t come quickly enough for Matamata Swifts’ senior football teams as injuries across the club has led to immense challenges in getting teams on the field every week. Despite this, however, Comag Matamata Swifts and Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves eeked out credible results on the road, while Fez Kebab Swifts 3rds and Challenge Matamata Ladies fought hard in defeat.

A couple of late injury withdrawals meant Comag Matamata Swifts arrived at top-four side Otorohanga with just twelve fit players, including two who had been drafted in from the Fez Kebab 3rd team. Despite this, Matamata battled to a second consecutive 2-2 draw.

The Swifts began the match strongly and traded goals with the hosts during the opening 20 minutes. Otorohanga went ahead early, but Ellis Breadmore levelled things up with his latest goal in what has been a fine recent goal scoring run. Matamata ploughed through the remainder of the half, in challenging conditions, and matched their better-performed opponents through much of the second period too.

Paul Weymouth, in his first start for the side, put in a stirring performance, while the defensive unit stood up to the pressure. The hosts broke through, though, inside the final quarter and looked set to sneak home with the points.

It seemed like a familiar ending, with the Swifts in the recent habit of losing points late, but this time they were able to reverse the trend. The team’s efforts were, finally, rewarded when Breadmore struck home with a minute remaining to help the Swifts secure a vital share of the points.

Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves also drew 2-2 on the road, at near neighbours Cambridge. Crisrick Lander scored both the goals for the young reserve side, including one absolute belter from all of 30 yards, while James Muncaster plugged away in the middle of the park doing the work that allowed the rest of the team to play.

The biggest challenge of the weekend for Fez Kebab Swifts 3rds was to get a team on the field, a feat they managed which allowed their match at Claudelands Rovers to proceed. While the team ended up going down 3-1, the team put in a good shift and were rewarded with a nicely taken free-kick goal by Rob Cox.

Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies also went down 3-1, against Waikato Division 1 leaders, Tokoroa. Laura Fisher’s goal was a bright spot on a day when not much fell Matamata’s way. Despite that, Matamata stuck at their task as the players, led by Kerrie Cox, fought strongly against the league’s current benchmark side.

All Matamata’s senior teams are back at home next weekend in what should be an excellent couple of days for local football fans.