Pāpāmoa and Ōtūmoetai have taken the top spots in the Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership competition and the gap to the rest of the field widening.

Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa remain in the number one spot after two late goals from Liam Molloy and Colm Kenny helped secure their win over Super Eight champions, Tauranga Boys' College.

Ōtūmoetai kept pace with the leaders after a 3-1 win at Gisler Architects Te Awamutu.

Two goals inside the first 20 minutes from Otumoetai's Trey Stewart, sandwiched a strike for the hosts, while keeper Kevin Billot also found time to save an Ōtūmoetai penalty in what was a frantic opening.


Jordi Langton was not so wasteful from the spot late on as he secured the points for an Ōtūmoetai side that had earlier had captain Scott Reid sent off.

Te Awamutu's Joshua Ryan was also shown a red card alongside Reid, while Ōtūmoetai's coach Ross Johnson was caught up in the exchange.

The match between West Hamilton United and ninetyblack Taupō was stopped just after the half hour mark after an horrific leg break suffered by Taupō's Fin Smith.

West Hamilton had begun the match on fire. Aaron Dass fired home from the penalty spot on eight minutes then delivered a free kick for Haydn Douglas to tap in only two minutes later to give the hosts a great opportunity to heap further misery on a collapsing Taupō side.

The match is currently listed as abandoned as WaiBOP reviews the information supplied by the match referees and club representatives.

Waikato Unicol took advantage of Taupō's travails, sneaking past Matamata Swifts 1-0 at the Matamata Domain in a match in which both keepers, James Field for Unicol and the Swifts' Seamus Casey, were called on to make important saves at crucial times.

In the other games, Daniel Kent's hat-trick helped Tauranga Blue Rovers to a 3-1 home victory over Melville United, while the bottom two, Ngaruawahia United and Safer Team Te Puke United, couldn't be separated after a 2-all draw.

The Soccer Shop WaiBOP W-League's top two sides, Tauranga City and Claudelands Rovers, both had the opportunity to steal a march on their title rivals, but in the end neither could take advantage after being held to draws in fiercely contested derby matches.


All the goals came in the first half as Tauranga and Tilemax Pāpāmoa drew 2-all at Links Ave.

With the match set for an intriguing finish neither side could break the stalemate as Tauranga eyes turned nervously to their phones in anticipation of Claudelands' result.

The collective sigh of relief was almost audible across the region as the news came through that Rovers had been held to a goalless draw at home by neighbours Melville United, meaning it was a case of as-you-were at the top of table as the season enters its final stages.

In the other W-League game, a well-rested Whakatāne Town beat Hamilton Wanderers 12-2 with Sinead Doherty scoring half the goals, which meant the eastern Bay side cemented their top four spot and moved them closer to the top three.

The top two in the Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship stretched their advantage over the chasing pack.

Otorohanga and Claudelands Rovers gathered yet more points with differing victories. Jack Connor's hat-trick helped Otorohanga slide past Tauranga Blue Rovers' Reserves 5-2, while Claudelands beat Taupō's Reserves 2-1.

Ōtūmoetai's Reserves and Waikato Unicol's Reserves, the two sides that constitute the chasing pack, were both held to goalless draws.

Ōtūmoetai picked up their point across town at Tauranga City, while Unicol became only the second side all season not to beat rock bottom Matamata Reserves.

Two other championship matches saw Cambridge win 3-1 at Hamilton Wanderers and Tokoroa secure a 2-1 victory over Pāpāmoa.