It was an unbeaten weekend for Matamata Swifts’ senior sides, while the club’s junior teams began the Championship round of their respective leagues.
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 2-2 Ngongotaha
The curse of the Matamata Domain again struck Ngongotaha when a seemingly understrength Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts twice came from behind to hold the Premiership title challangers to a surprise draw. For the third season in a row Matamata pulled off a result against Ngongotaha at home and all three times the visitors had been well in the title frame.
This result was probably the most unlikely of the lot. Just a fortnight after winning at leaders, Cambridge, to put the title under their control, Ngongotaha would have firmly believed they’d break their curse. To compound matters, the Swifts were a much changed side from last week, due to injury and unavailability. After opening the scoring in the first minute Ngongotaha’s belief would have risen still further.
The Swifts hit back in the seventh minute through a superb long range Sam Masterson strike, showing there were signs of life in the home side, but Ngongotaha restored their lead two minutes later. Three goals inside a frantic first ten minutes left the fans wondering what would happen next.
Very little on the goal scoring front was the answer. The visitors created the better openings, with Swifts keeper Jordan Wise getting down to make a good save with his feet, and also seeing a whipped cross fizz wide of everyone. But the Swifts were competing well in midfield and defending with their lives, making things far more frustrating for Ngongotaha than they’d have expected.
Matamata rode their luck a little after the break, as Ngongotaha hit the upright then squandered a glorious opening, but they also threatened more going forward. Logan Allen’s pace out wide and Joe Tompsett’s industry up front kept Ngongotaha’s back four busy and when Andrew Clothier was tripped in the box with little more than fifteen minutes remaining the Swifts had their chance. Jamie Baxter converted from the penalty spot to set up a tense finish.
The Swifts held on for what could be one of the most crucial points for both teams this season. Matamata finally had some breaks, which was a nice change after recent weeks, but they were deserved after the positive effort and whole hearted commitment displayed by the side.
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves 2-1 Ngongotaha Reserves
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves carried on their bright recent form, with a third home win in a row in the WaiBOP Championship. After pushing promotion chasers West Hamilton all the way last Saturday, the side would have been looking forward to the somewhat easier visit of lowly Ngongotaha, but this is football and it doesn’t quite work like that.
The two sides traded goals during an open first 45 minutes. Ronan Costello pushed the reserves in front with his second goal in two games, before the visitors equalised from a free kick midway through the half. Both sides could have had more goals but went to the break level at 1-1.
After half time it was largely one way traffic, with the reserves carving out a good number of chances. Josh Oed rounded the visiting keeper on the hour mark and slid the ball home to put the reserves in front with what ended up being the winner. The team couldn’t quite manage a deserved third goal, which would have killed the game off, but thankfully they didn’t need it. The visitors’ mounted sporadic raids, which kept things interesting, and the coaching staff nervous, right to the end.
This victory pushed the reserves into the top six of the WaiBOP Championship and within range of the teams above them
Cambridge White 0-14 Challenge Matamata Swifts
Waikato Ladies Plate
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies blazed their way into the semi-finals of the Waikato Ladies Plate with a 14-0 hammering at Cambridge on Sunday. It was the ladies’ largest win of the season and the first time they had hit double figures.
Up 8-0 at half time the side hit another six after the break against a Cambridge side that kept going, despite being a player down. With the extra time and space, the ladies knocked the ball around nicely and made the most of their chances when they came.
The goals were spread around. Annemieke Verstraten led the way with four goals to become the first senior player this season to hit double figures. Kerrie Cox helped herself to a hat trick while three other players, Patrice Adamson, Gaby Raynel and Ana Peterson, bagged a brace each. Sommer Rickard rounded out the scoring.
This was the best possible way for the ladies’ to bounce back from last week’s narrow defeat. It sets them up nicely for another tilt at the Waikato Plate, which the team won back in 2013. Their semi-final opponents, along with the venue, will be known later in the week.
Juniors: Open Grade – Fairfield 3-0 Matamata Hornets; Claudelands 0-3 Matamata Hornets – K/O Cup; Western United 2-2 Matamata Tigers (Tigers’ scorers: Will Benefield, Jordan Griffiths); Wanderers 1-1 Matamata Falcons (Falcons’ scorer: Madison Hunt. POD: Eiji Johnson). 11th Grade –Matamata Jets 10-1 Ngaruawahia (Jets’ POD: Reagan Powell). 10th Grade – Matamata Dragons 1-4 Claudelands Renegades (Dragons’ scorer: Jake Fannin); Matamata Dragons 4-0 Claudelands Reds (Dragons’ scorers: Jack Rawiri, George O’Callaghan 2, Reilly Benefield) – K/O Cup; Matamata Strikers 0-5 Western United. 9th Grade – Matamata Rebels 5-5 Wanderers; Tauwhare 2-0 Matamata Eagles (Eagles’ POD: Jamie Scott). 8th Grade – Matamata Magpies 1-1 Woodstock (Magpies’ scorer: Nathan Quinn. POD: Jamie Suisted).