Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies have eased into the final of the Waikato Ladies Plate on a weekend the two Swifts mens teams suffered defeats on the road.

Waikato Unicol 2-0 Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts
WaiBOP Premiership

Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts suffered another fruitless afternoon away from home on an afternoon where the conditions made the match a battle of attrition rather than a footballing classic.

Buoyed by their previous week’s performance the Swifts began brightly against one of the Premiership’s pre-season favourites. Like the Swifts, however, Unicol have been inconsistent over the second half of the season. That meant both sides were desperate for a win and the first goal was always going to prove vital.

Unfortunately for the Swifts that goal came from Unicol after the half hour mark. The goal was gold for the hosts, giving them something to hold on as the surface deteriorated markedly.

The Swifts pressed well after the break but, again, to little goal scoring effect. Unicol clung to their lead as the match turned into a survival-of-the-fittest-slog-fest. The hosts doubled their lead, and in the process secured their victory, right at the death.

Matamata’s midfield trio of Scott Parsonage, Dwayne Signal and Andrew Clothier, in his final game before heading back to the USA, matched up well against their opponents and the conditions, but in the end the disappointment of conceding the opening goal proved too much to overcome.

Kawerau Sports 3-0 Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves
WaiBOP Championship

The young Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves suffered their fifth defeat of the season at title favourites, Kawerau Sports, but were far from disgraced on a strange afternoon of football.

Matamata began well and the game’s first good opening fell to Ronan Costello, but his shot from inside the box slipped wide.

All the scoring took place in a fifteen minute period before half time. The reserves fell off their game and allowed Kawerau, who are averaging over four goals a games this season, the sort of opportunities a free scoring side are always likely to take.

Down by three at the break, it could have got ugly for Matamata, but the youngsters stepped back up and put in a solid second half shift. They went close to scoring near the end when substitute, Luis John, rattled the cross bar, while Matt Aberhart in the Matamata goal was largely unemployed.

So, yet again, there were plenty of positives, if no points, to take out of the match for Matamata’s development side.

Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 4-1 Melville United
Waikato Ladies Plate Semi-Final

A three goal second half performance against Melville United at Matamata College has fired Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies into the final of the Waikato Ladies Plate competition for the second time in three seasons.

The sides traded goals in the first half. The visitors opened the scoring inside the first 20 minutes before top scorer, Annemieke Verstraten, scrambled home the equaliser not long after in what, on paper, was a tight first half. But Matamata hit the woodwork twice, through Krystal Morrison and Patrice Adamson, and the pay-off for their efforts would come during the second half.

Some great work from the team led to goals from Sommer Rickard and Gaby Raynel, while Patrice Adamson bent in a wicked corner that Melville could  only put through their own net. Captain, Kerrie Cox, and Adamson pulled the strings in midfield allowing Matamata to eventually over-run their opponents.

The game was moved to the College to allow a sodden Matamata Domain surface a breather. The superb surface seemed to more than suit Matamata’s style of play. A big thank you to the College for their help with this.

The final against either Hamilton North or Ngaruawahia seems scheduled for September 13 at a venue to be determined. Wherever it’s played Matamata is sure to give it a really good shake as they chase the club’s first silverware of the season.

Juniors – All Waikato Junior Football was cancelled over the weekend due to unplayable conditions at several grounds in Hamilton.