The Ladies side played the first game at home for the club as they welcomed Mangakino to the Domain for their first match in Waikato C. While the side struggled in Waikato B last year they showed definite signs of improvement towards the end of the season, including winning the Waikato Plate knock-out competition.
With the core of the side back again this year along with some significant additions to the squad the ladies appear to have the makings of a good team, as long as the good team attitude and work ethic remain!
The Swifts looked the stronger of the 2 sides early on in this game and created plenty of chances in the first half. Encouragingly, these chances were being made through good football with the ball being played around on the deck and use of the long ball tactic limited.
Unfortunately, the Ladies were unable to capitalise and the score remained 0-0 at the break.
The second half began in a similar vein, Matamata hot on attack but unable to take the lead. Just as one wondered if frustration might set-in, Annemieke Verstraten latched on to a loose ball and her long range strike never looked like missing.
On what was extremely warm weather for football, the visitor’s lack of substitutes began to tell as the second half wore on. However their keeper, herself hobbled by an Achilles injury, pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep her side in the game, including keeping out a penalty.
Late in the game though, the Swifts finally put the match beyond doubt. Last year’s Ladies golden boot, Sarah Coppard, popped up on the end of a scuffed shot to make it 2-0, and she soon added her second, and the team’s third, to wrap up an excellent afternoon and 3 points. Player of the day went to Morgan Norris for her contributions, particularly in the centre of the park.