The Swifts Reserves have claimed a notable scalp in a battle between the league’s two top sides going into this week’s round of matches.
While a tight encounter would have been expected, Wanderers were hot favourites given two large wins over the reserves earlier in the season. But this match was different, for many reasons.
The main reason was the reserves looked far more incisive going forward. Scott Hudson drilled one in early to set teh reserves on their way, before Ronan Costello doubled the lead in short order. Not long before the break, Sean Richardson hooked the ball over his shoulder from a difficult angle to see the reserves three up at the break.
Jono Crook made it four after the break before the visitors pulled one back during the later stages of the match. Costello had the final say with his second and the reserves’ fifth late on.
This was a quite staggering and immensly pleasing result for a reserve side that keeps getting better as the season goes on.
The reserves had some extra motivation for the match after Wanderers had defeated them 4-1 in the Print House Waikato Cup a fortnight ago. That result was fair enough, but some curious accounting by Wanderers management of their players post the cup match had left the team feeling rather frustrated. That was compounded by the rather brazen sense of entitlement on display by the visitors and their fans from almost the first minute after arrival in Matamata.