West Ham leads foot­ball premier­ship

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - DWAYNE BARLOW

The 2018 Loaded WaiBOP Premier­ship is a bookie’s night­mare as Satur­day’s results thrust an­other side to the sum­mit fol­low­ing the results of sev­eral piv­otal matches.

West Hamil­ton United, who briefly tasted life at the top ear­lier in the sea­son, dis­patched Te Awa­mutu 2-0 at Weka Street for their fifth win in eight games and have nudged them­selves a point clear of pre­vi­ous lead­ers, Tau­ranga Boys’ Col­lege, and Fly­ing Mul­let Pa­pamoa.

Matthew Palmer and Nathan Holten scored the goals for the Hamil­to­ni­ans, one in each half, to se­cure an im­por­tant re­sult for their club.

Te Awa­mutu loomed as tricky op­po­nents, hav­ing won their last two, and with the in­cen­tive of a derby vic­tory in their nos­trils, but West Hamil­ton proved to be the masters on the day.

Across town, Waikato Uni­col pro­vided the largest of favours for West Hamil­ton, and them­selves, as they handed Boys’ Col­lege their first de­feat since the open­ing day of the sea­son.

Uni­col was re­lent­less, tak­ing ad­van­tage of their visi­tors’ heavy re­cent sched­ule of school en­coun­ters to run out 4-0 win­ners. Riku Soe­jima was again to the fore, grab­bing a dou­ble, and he was helped on the goal scor­ing front by Reed Fisher and Kieron Pay­ton.

Af­ter a slow start to the sea­son, dur­ing which Uni­col lost two of their first three matches, they’re now back in the sort of groove that had them listed pre­sea­son as one of the ti­tle favourites.

Pa­pamoa was an­other team favoured to do well, but they have found scor­ing goals a tough thing to do in re­cent weeks.

Satur­day’s match against Melville United, how­ever, proved some­thing of a respite as they ran out 3-1 win­ners.

Strauss Boom had Pa­pamoa in front early then a Camp­bell Hig­gins header pushed the men in yel­low back in front af­ter Melville had briefly re­stored par­ity.

Dean Styles made the points safe in the fi­nal minute and pushed his side a point off top spot with a game in hand.

Fur­ther down the ta­ble, Co­mag Mata­mata Swifts beat Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers 4-0.

Goals from Jamie Bax­ter, Kody Now­ell and Bjorn Vossen had the Swifts three up at half time, then Dayne Willem­sen com­pleted the scor­ing af­ter the break.

Otu­moetai se­cured their first win against a non-Wan­der­ers

West Hamil­ton’s Rowan Beau­mont Bell runs clear of Te Awa­mutu’s Thomas Watts dur­ing Satur­day’s game at Weka Street in Hamil­ton.

Nathan Holten goes on at­tack for West Hamil­ton.

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