The weekend just gone was a one of stark contrasts for Matamata Swifts’ senior football teams. Saturday was a humbling experience as all three men’s teams suffered defeat on the road, while on Sunday Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies pounded their Waikato Division 1 top four rivals, Claudelands Rovers, 9-1 at the Domain.
Comag Matamata Swifts and Waharoa Transport Swifts reserves headed across the Kaimais to play their respective opponents from bogey club, Tauranga Blue Rovers. Injuries and unavailabilities hit the squad hard in the lead-up to the matches, so Saturday was always likely to be a test of endurance. And so it proved.
The Swifts went down 4-1 in what was their largest defeat of The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership season. They matched their in-form opponents during the first half, however, and went ahead right on half time when Bjorn Vossen headed home.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got for Matamata. Rovers scored four times in sixteen minutes through the middle stages of the second half as a tiring Swifts succumbed to their confident opponents.
After a positive start to the season the Swifts have stalled somewhat, but it’s a long season with more than three months to go. Hopefully the team can be restored to something nearing full strength in the coming weeks.
Missing key players, Matamata’s squad depth was exposed. This was no more obvious than during the early game in which the Swifts reserves were beaten 6-0 by their Blue Rovers counterparts.
Camel Kebab Swifts 3rds didn’t fare any better. After a recent upswing in form they came crashing back to earth following a 6-0 defeat at Claudelands Vets.
Sunday was a much more positive experience for the club. Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies bounced back from last weekend’s cup exit on penalties to trounce Claudelands Rovers, a side they entered the match level on points in the table with, 9-1.
The Ladies were relentless in front of goal throughout the match. A burst of scoring through the middle stages of the first half settled the game as a contest, but Matamata refused to take their football boots off the gas after the break.
Maggie Leaver became the team’s second hat trick scorer of the season and her goals were complimented by doubles from Mary Ontiveros, Patrice Morrison and Jess Greenfield.
The result ensured Matamata kept pace with the leading teams in the league. They sit two points off top spot with fully two thirds of the season left to play.