Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa took advantage of Ōtūmoetai's inactivity over the weekend to extend their lead at the top of The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Premiership to four points while ninetyblack Taupō snapped their losing run with an emphatic home victory.
Pāpāmoa's 2-0 win at Waikato Unicol was consistent with their recent run of results. They secured yet another clean sheet and goals from Colm Kenny and Campbell Higgins, in either half, gave them their 12th win in 16 games and takes them to 38 points.
Before the match, Unicol would have had realistic title ambitions of their own, particularly had they been able to complete a league double over Saturday's visitors. But the students now sit nine points off the pace.
Ōtūmoetai's match against the lowly Comag Matamata Swifts was postponed so it was left to Taupō to put some pressure on Pāpāmoa and they did not disappoint. Jordan Lamb's four goals and a Joe O'Donoghue hat trick helped the Lakesiders punish Tauranga Blue Rovers to the tune of 7-0. The result put an end to Taupō's recent poor run which coupled with Pāpāmoa's consistency, has put their title defence in severe jeopardy.
Taupō's winning margin was not the largest of the day as Melville United pummelled Gisler Architects Te Awamutu 9-1 at Gower Park. David Brennan's hat trick and doubles from Davis Vhavha and Gabriel Ngandu helped Melville to an uncharacteristically huge victory against a side that should be fighting for their Premiership lives as the season nears its business end.
Two goals in the minutes leading up to halftime helped Ngaruawahia United to a 2-0 victory over Tauranga Boys' College which lifted the green machine out of the bottom two. Liban Mire and Andy Carswell were the goal scorers for a Ngaruawahia side which seems to have hit good form at the right time.
West Hamilton United scored twice in the closing minutes to rescue a point at Safer Team Te Puke United. The hosts looked on course to record only their second win of the season after Jack McIlwaine and Yuki Onuki had given them a two-goal halftime lead but a late Alex Whitehead goal, followed by an even later Tim Moynahan strike ensured the match finished level at 2-all.
Matamata, who were not in action over the weekend, slipped into the bottom two in a relegation race which currently includes the bottom half of the Premiership table.
No games were played in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP W-League over the weekend. Two games, Tauranga City versus Claudelands Rovers and Whakatāne Town versus Melville United, were postponed while Hamilton Wanderers defaulted their match at Ōtūmoetai.
The top two in The Soccer Shop WaiBOP Championship both picked up comfortable looking wins. Bulk Lines Otorohanga were four up at the break before running out 5-2 winners over Tauranga City, while Ash Gower-Rudman's hat trick helped Claudelands Rovers come from behind at half time to win 6-3 at Cambridge.
Waikato Unicol's reserves snapped their recent winless run with a 4-0 victory against Flying Mullet Pāpāmoa Reserves while Tauranga Blue Rovers' Reserves recovered from being a goal down at half time to beat Taupō's Reserves 2-1. The other game, between Tokoroa and Hamilton Wanderers, finished all square at 2-all. Ōtūmoetai Reserves versus Waharoa Transport Matamata Reserves was postponed.
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