Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts 0-1 Old Blues
In a match that was a microcosm of their season, the Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts had most of the play and the better chances but found themselves on the end of another frustratingly narrow defeat against one of the WaiBOP Premiership’s top four teams.
The Swifts had the majority of the possession in this match and looked good at times, if not overly incisive, against a team that was set up to frustrate and attack on the counter.
Brad West hit the upright from distance in the opening stages in what turned out to be an example of the way this match run.
The visitors scored the only goal of the match on 19 minutes after one of their players was allowed too much space down the right. His incisive run and cross was expertly finished in what was the visitors’ only clear cut chance of the match.
Matamata had two excellent chances to draw level before the break. Scott Parsonage headed wide and Ronan Costello left the Old Blues keeper stranded with a shot that also missed the target. The Swifts have struggled for goals all season and these were two examples of their lack of a cutting edge.
The visitors remained resolute in defence and were limited to shots from distance that rarely troubled Jordan Wise in the Swifts goal.
Matamata had more of the play after the break but lacked the cutting edge required to open up their opponents. They defended well on the rare occasions they had to but drew another blank against opponents who were there for the taking.
The Swifts remain in seventh in the twelve team WaiBOP Premiership and will be looking to finish their season positively in their two remaining home games.
Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves 0-1 West Hamilton
The Richardson Racing Stables Swifts Reserves ultimately came away from their frustrating encounter against promotion chasing West Hamilton with nothing to show for their efforts, but with another extremely encouraging performance on the board.
West Hamilton went ahead inside five minutes when Matt Aberhart, in Matamata’s goal, was left stranded on the edge of the area and the visitors drove the ball into an open goal.
While that was the only goal scoring action, this match wasn’t short of openings. The reserves went close during the first half through Josh Oed, twice, and Ignacio Trias, before Trias was bundled over in the box in the shadow of half time. A penalty was duly awarded but the visitors’ keeper got across well to his right to keep out Shaun Richardson’s spot kick.
The reserves attacked relentlessly during the second half but goals proved elusive, while West Hamilton went close several times on the counter. In the end West Hamilton snuck away from the Domain with a narrow, yet priceless, victory.
The reserves also have two home matches to close out their season, including a tasty encounter against title favourites Kawerau Sports this Saturday.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 2-0 Hamilton North
Waikato Ladies Plate Final
The Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies have claimed the Waikato Ladies Plate for the second time in three season after a commanding performance in Sunday’s final against Hamilton North.
A Krystal Morrison double in the first half proved to be the difference between the two sides in the match that was played at the neutral venue of Galloway Park in Hamilton.
As has often been the case this season, the Matamata Ladies’ victory was built on a solid defensive effort. After Morrison’s goals went in the focus went on keeping yet another clean sheet, and the team supported each other to get the job done.
The senior players led the way while the numerous youngsters responded well to the unique pressure of a final and the Swifts Ladies returned from Hamilton with a trophy that is fine reward for an encouraging season.
In other final action this weekend, the Matamata 10th Grade Dragons suffered a 1-0 extra time defeat in the Waikato 10th Grade Knockout final. The Dragons had their chances to win it in regulation time but couldn’t hit the back of the net in what was an excellent, if heart breaking, way to end the 2015 season.