The Soccer Shop WaiBop premiership full of action

Photo: Cameron Avery/SunLive.

Flying Mullet Papamoa and Otumoetai emerged unscathed from the weekend’s round of The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership with victories that gave them both a slight, but potentially telling advantage in the title race.

Papamoa won, expectedly, at Safer Team Te Puke United, while Otumoetai edged Waikato Unicol in the weekend’s match of the round. The shock result was ninetyblack Taupo not only losing their second match in a row, but doing so at home to second from bottom Ngaruawahia United.

It was largely plain sailing for Papamoa as they won 6-0 at Te Puke. After remaining scoreless for nearly 20 minutes, goals from Liam Molloy, Alex Wilson and Juan Pedro Irazabal in a seven minute spell effectively broke Te Puke’s resistance. Irazabal grabbed his second not long after half time, before Callum Glover and Colm Kenny completed the rout.

It was much closer at Fergusson Park in a match between two of the Premiership’s top four, as Otumoetai took the spoils following their 2-1 victory. An almost goalless first 45 minutes turned in the host’s favour as the half time whistle neared when captain, Scott Reid, struck to change the complexion of the game. Krishaant Singh got Unicol back on level terms seven minutes after the beak, but the match didn’t stay that way for long. Trey Stewart restored Otumoetai’s lead just after the hour mark and the hosts saw the game out to stay in touch with Papamoa, while also helping themselves to a handy little advantage over the teams below them.

One thing you can guarantee from matches involving the 2019 version of Taupo is goals. But after winning nine in a row, they have now lost two straight with their 4-3 reverse to Ngaruawahia at Crown Park on Saturday being potentially the Premiership’s upset of the season so far.

A Green Machine side that had scored only eight times in twelve games prior to this match were three up inside the first half hour. John Stapleford struck twice, either side of a Nirav Prakash goal. Taupo mounted something of a comeback, with Jordan Lamb and Finlay Smith reducing the deficit by half time. Ngaruawahia held their lead through the bulk of the second half, before extending their advantage with just over quarter of an hour to go thanks to Khalid Omar. Jordan Lamb scored again for Taupo with five minutes left, before Ismal Awad, for the visitors, and Byron Thessman both saw red in a heated finish.

Tauranga Blue Roves consolidated fifth spot after a 2-0 win at Gisler Architects Te Awamutu. Reuben Wood gave the visitors the lead at half time before Daniel Kent’s goal secured the points.

The other games both ended level. Sok Ven’s first half double gave Melville United a two goal advantage at the break before West Hamilton United mounted a comeback that saw the match end 2-2. Mitchell Dodd, just after the hour, and Mathew Sawyer inside the final fifteen minutes, scored the goals that shared the spoils. Josh Oliver came off the bench to equalise for Tauranga Boys’ four minutes into added time after Nicolas San Martan had given Comag Matamata Swifts a long overdue lead 20 minutes from time in a match that ended 1-1.

Claudelands Rovers powered to a 5-1 win at Tilemax Papamoa in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP W-League’s match of the round, gaining three points that jumped them over Papamoa and into second spot on the table. A goal each from Rhiannon Jones and Rachel Porteous helped Rovers to a comfortable half time lead before Jones’ second of the day four minutes after the break effectively put the game to bed. There was then a flurry of goals in added time as Porteous completed her hat trick by scoring twice in a minute not long after regulation time was up then, almost immediately, Brian Osbourne struck Papamoa’s consolation.

Leaders Tauranga City did it the hard way at lowly Otumoetai, relying on a goal from Nicky Hingston and a late Otumoetai own goal to sneak past their hosts 2-1. Meila Storey had earlier given Otumoetai a brief lead and the sniff of what would have been a monumental upset. But Tauranga had just enough to gain the three points and maintain their W-League lead.

In the other game, Melville United breezed past Wanderers 4-1 in the Hamilton derby at Gower Park. Clare MacKintosh’s first half double eased Melville into half time, before further goals from Emma Sizer and Tonianne Sizer paved the way to victory, but only after Caitlin Young’s goal had given the hosts a few anxious moments.

The top four teams in The Soccer Shop Championship played each other and both games ended in 1-1 draws. Leaders Bulk Lines Otorohanga trailed second placed Claudelands Rovers at half time thanks to Tavis Lovett’s goal, but Jamie Walker hit back in the second half to maintain Otorohanga’s one point lead at the top of the table.

Otorohanga now sit on 28 points, just ahead of Rovers, Otumoetai Reserves and Waikato Unicol Reserves, who are all on 27 points. Otumoetai and Unicol passed up the opportunity to go top when their match also finished all square. Scott Mitchell’s first half goal for Otumoetai was cancelled out by Kieran Payton’s late equaliser.

In other matches, Taupo’s Reserves picked up another three points following Hamilton Wanderers’ default, while Tauranga Blue Rovers won 1-0 at Tauranga City in the battle of the blues. Cambridge gave up a two goal half time lead to draw 2-2 at home to Flying Mullet Papamoa Reserves, while Tokoroa won 2-1 at home over rock bottom Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves.

All match details here:

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