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 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 Ham proved to be the masters on the day.
Across town, Waikato Unicol handed Tauranga Boys' College their first defeat since the opening day of the season. Unicol were relentless, taking advantage of their visitors' heavy recent schedule of school encounters to emerge 4-0 winners.
Papamoa were 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 put the men in yellow back in front after Melville had briefly restored parity. Dean Styles secured the points in the final minute and took his side to within a point of the top spot with a game in hand.
Further down the table, Comag Matamata Swifts beat Hamilton Wanderers 4-0. Otumoetai secured their first win against a non-Wanderers side, as Sam Flatt's goal just before half-time gave them a 1-0 win in their local derby against Tauranga Blue Rovers.
Ngaruawahia United recovered from a halftime deficit against Tauranga Blue Rovers' Reserves to maintain their 100 per cent record in the WaiBOP Championship. Noor Mire, with two, and Ibrahim Ismail scored the goals that gave the Green Machine a 3-1 victory and moved them three points clear at the top with two fewer games played than their nearest rivals.
Taupo's Reserves dispatched bottom side Cambridge 8-0, with Nick Field scoring a hat-trick, while Kawerau Sports' good recent run continued with a 4-0 win at home to Te Puke United. Otumoetai's Reserves won 2-0 at Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves.
Full details: www.waibopfootball.co.nz