Swifts win in extra time of away-game struggle
Only two Swifts sides played over the long weekend and both pulled off meritorious results.
Auckland Wanderers 1- 2 Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts
ASB Chatham Cup – qualifying round
Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts have progressed out of the qualifying round of the 2015 ASB Chatham Cup, New Zealand’s nationwide knock-out cup competition, after an extra time victory over Auckland opposition.
This Sunday excursion was something of a trip into the unknown for the Swifts, as they knew little about their opponents and, after a last minute venue change to Bill McKinley Park’s artificial turf, were confronted with a surface most would not have played on before.
This was compounded by a number of forced personnel and positional changes, which led to a pretty rough opening half hour or so for the Swifts as they struggled to adapt.
The visitors went close to taking the lead during the opening exchanges, before grabbing a deserved goal in the 11th minute when an unmarked attacker was given the run of the Swifts 18 yard box.
With a gale at their back the Wanderers forced most of the play during the first half but Sunday League quality finishing from the home side meant Swifts keeper, Jordan Wise, was rarely called on to make anything more than a regulation save.
He had to be sharp on one occasion, however, when diving at the feet of an advancing attacker.
The Wanderers visibly tired as half time neared, allowing the Swifts several opportunities to break out and attack their goal. Ronan Costello found himself on the end of one of these raids and knocked home the equaliser only a couple of minutes before the break.
The second half settled into a pattern of the Wanderers getting caught off side and the Swifts over hitting passes, which meant not too much of any great consequence took place.
The nearest either side came to scoring was when the trusty left boot of Matamata’s Jamie Baxter smashed a quick free kick into the Wanderers’ upright.
Neither side really looked capable of a further 30 minutes, but that was necessary as the match finished level at one apiece.
The Swifts made most of the running during extra time and went ahead in the 98th minute when substitute, Logan Allen, finished off a neat counter attack.
The Swifts held on from there, despite a nervous final period when the Wanderers threw everything at them.
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies 0-0 Claudelands Rovers
Waikato Ladies Division B
Challenge Matamata Swifts Ladies continued their unbeaten start to the 2015 season after holding Claudelands Rovers, one of the league’s more favoured teams, to a draw at the Domain.
Both the Swifts and Rovers had scored comfortable opening day victories, with Rovers belting home five goals without reply, so the Matamata coaching staff were aware this would be a great test for their young side.
The Ladies stood up well, however, and their performance proved they’ll be more than com- petitive level.
Despite lacking a goal the match wasn’t short of goal mouth action, particularly during the early stages.
The Swifts Ladies threatened on several occasions while Ana Paterson in the Matamata goal proved her worth as a shot stopper.
The clean sheet was testament to her efforts, along with that of the back four.
Fixtures (May 2/3):
The Swifts reserves
Ngongotaha v Waikato Stud Matamata Swifts, 2.45pm, Stembridge Road, Ngongotaha. Ngongotaha reserves v Matamata Swifts reserves, 12.30pm, Stembridge Road, Ngongotaha. Otorohanga v Challenge Matamata Ladies, 11am, Otorohanga.
All our junior sides start this Saturday. Please visit matamataswifts. com/ juniors for the draw. Mini- kickers, 9am, Matamata Domain.
Played on Wealleans Park beneath cool, overcast skies, spectators certainly got their money’s worth on Saturday. A tribute was paid to fallen soldiers with both club’s A and B teams, plus Marist and Hinuera U21s, lining up to face the crowd as the Last Post was played.
Then the battle on the field commenced. In the past, Hinuera has had the wood on their southern neighbours. Not so on Saturday. With a new coach, training having begun before Christmas, and former players returning to the fold meant Southern have taken on a new lease of life.
By contrast, Hinuera were lethargic. At times they did surge into life and hopes did spring eternal, but when you have big 16 stone forwards running at 8- 9 stone backs, it was always difficult.
Hinuera did open the scoring with a Jarrod McNaughton penalty, but with Owen Pomare, Southern’s No 8 running powerfully, they gained the lead with a converted try, 7-3 Southern.
Three penalties to the visitors to two by McNaughton made the halftime score 16-9 to Southern. Next week away to Frankton.
B’s v Southern: 36-0 to Southern; Colts Hamilton Marist Green 37 Hinuera 18.