Comag Matamata Swifts and Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies both picked up victories on the first full weekend of senior football across the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region for 2019.
The Swifts battled to a 2-1 win at Te Puke on Saturday in their second Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership match of the season, while the ladies won their derby against Cambridge 4-2 on Sunday to open their season in the best possible manner.
A much changed Swifts side got their match at Te Puke going positively when Radge Avergonzado slotted home early on. The goal should have settled any nerves but Matamata were their own worst enemies on a surface they failed to fully come to grips with over the 90 minutes.
Te Puke, whose players seemed to spend the match competing with each other to see who could kick the ball the furthest, hit back when a deflected free kick found the back of the net before half time.
The second half didn’t have much to recommend it. The Swifts slogged it out on a surface that made their much-maligned Pohlen Park training ground look half decent and eventually found a winner ten minutes from the end. Reuben Wiglesworth drove the ball home after another raid forward finally bore some positive fruit.
It wasn’t Matamata’s best day at the office, with the amount of personnel changes and the conditions leading to a disjointed performance, but the result was all that mattered on the day.
The Swifts Ladies put in a devastating first half performance to effectively end their season opener against Cambridge before the break. Maggie Leaver struck the opener, before Cambridge equalised, but a spell of three goals in no time at all gave Matamata solid reward for some decent counter attacking play. Patrice Morrison struck two of those while player of the day Leaver slammed home a second to blow the margin out.
It was far less open after half time as Matamata comfortably saw the game out. Cambridge, who had hit the woodwork three times during an incredible first half, grabbed a second goal late as reward for their positive contribution to the game, while Matamata had another goal ruled out for a nondescript foul.
The other two Swifts senior teams both lost 3-1 on the road. Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves went down to their more experienced Cambridge opponents in their second Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship. Cambridge scored three times before the break before Sam Hills, one of Matamata’s many youngsters, hit back after the break.
Camel Kebab Swifts 3rds fell to defeat at Otorohanga in their opening Waikato Division 3 match of the season. Chris Bedford scored for Matamata in a game in which all the goals were scored before half time.