It was a tight old afternoon at the Domain on Saturday with both senior men’s team featuring in drawn matches in front of an excellent crowd.

Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 1-1 Katikati
WaiBOP Premiership

Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts were held to their fourth draw of the season by a spirited Katikati side who arrived at the Domain prepared to compete.

It took the Swifts until the 72nd minute before they found the first goal, when Andrew Clothier fired home from just inside the box, but the visitors were level soon after when they scrambled home from a corner that should have been cleared.

This led to a nervous final quarter hour for Matamata in which Katikati, who until their equaliser had barely threatened Jordan Wise’s goal, hit the cross bar and blazed wide as they went in search of an unlikely victory.

The Swifts had much the better of the possession stats for the bulk of the match, but were held at arm’s length by a Katikati side determined to take something back across the Kaimais with them. Once again, the lack of a true cutting edge proved costly for Matamata as they struggled for clear-cut openings in the attacking third.

Goal scorer Clothier was lively while Dwayne Signal, on his return to the side after an injury enforced layoff, looked the standout player on the field.

Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves 0-0 Tokoroa
WaiBOP Championship

The young Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves were unlucky not to take anything more than a point from this encounter against a Tokoroa side that had been one of the early season pace setters.

While not overly endowed with goalmouth action, this was a lively encounter in which the reserves matched up well against their higher placed opponents. The reserves, however, began confidently, playing tidy football. They came close to opening up the visitors before half time, but Logan Raynel shot narrowly over from distance and Callum Barr shot wide in what were the best of a handful of chances.

Rob Cox and Mike Candy were strong in the heart of the reserves’ defence, laying a platform for their young team mates to attack. Reuben Wigelsworth, with only a handful of senior games under his belt, looked assured in the middle of the park.

Both sides pressed for the opening goal after the break. Again, Matamata came closest, with several shots zipping wide. Barr fired over while under pressure while substitute, Matt Monteith, glanced a header wide with the goal gaping. The defence had to be lively to ward of the challenge presented by Tokoroa, but Matt Aberhart in the Matamata goal was comfortable on the few occasions he was seriously called into action.

This was another step forward from this developing side, with promise shown by the youngsters and leadership provided by the experienced campaigners.

Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies had no game due to the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Juniors: Open Grade – Claudelands Rovers 1-0 Matamata Hornets (Hornets Player of the Day (POD): Tyler Tapper); Southwell 3-4 Matamata Tigers (Tigers’ scorers: Jordan Griffiths, Will Benefield 2, Reuben Davis. POD: Cameron Jacobson); Matamata Falcons 0-1 Hamilton Marist. 11th Grade – Matamata Jets 2-5 Cambridge (Jets’ scorers: Jonny Swap, Anton Ganas. POD: Jonny Swap). 10th Grade – Matamata Dragons 3-2 Claudelands Rovers; Matamata Strikers 0-2 Pirongia (Strikers POD: Michael Griffits). 9th Grade – Matamata Rebels 6-0 HRFC (Rebels scorers: Dylan Brown 5, Timothy Baxendine. POD: Dylan Brown); Wanderers 8-1 Matamata Eagles (Eagles’ scorer: Joshua Martin. POD: Jason Li). 8th Grade – Matamata Magpies 2-6 Woodstock (Magpies’ scorer: Nathan Quinn 2. PODs: Treesh Sharma & Jamie Suisted).