Cambridge eases clear at Loaded WaiBOP Premiership’s summit

Callum MacLeod’s hat trick has helped free scoring Cambridge increase their lead at the top of the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership’s table to three points after his side won 5-2 at West Hamilton United on Saturday.

MacLeod struck twice inside the opening quarter of the game at Weka Street and when leading scorer, Donovan Latham, gave the visitors a three goal lead right on half time the points looked safe. West Hamilton had a bit more about them after the break as the sides traded two goals apiece, but the leaders were always able to keep their hosts safely at arm’s length.

Cambridge now site three points clear at the top of the table with six games to go. As a nice little bonus, their victory meant they were able to claim the Federation Challenge Shield just a week after West Hamilton had won it at Otumoetai.

Cambridge is looking more and more like a side capable of claiming their second Premiership crown in three seasons as they pushed their winning run to ten games in a row.

The teams below them are also helping their cause as both Waikato Unicol and Old Blues lost more ground after slipping to their first draws of the season. The game at Jansen Park between Unicol and fourth placed Edmonds Judd Te Awamutu finished goalless, while Old Blues was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Otumoetai. A Mike Barton goal had Old Blues ahead at the break, but Jayden Hill was able to level things up for the visitors during the second half.

Comag Matamata Swifts moved into fifth, ahead of both Taupo and Otumoetai on goal difference, after a regulation 4-0 home win over SGS Papamoa. Dayne Willemsen scored twice in the first half for the Swifts, before Scott Parsonage and Glen Carmichael headed home second half goals for their side.

Taupo recorded only their second win since the start of June with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Melville United. The relegation fight then became even more interesting when Tauranga Boys’ won 3-0 at home over Rotorua United to move level on thirteen points with the Hamiltonians.

WaiBOP Championship leaders, Cambridge Reserves, dropped points at the weekend but still edged further clear at the top of the table after Unicol Reserves sunk to their third defeat of the season.

Cambridge would have been disappointed with their 1-1 draw at Te Puke United but that wouldn’t have lasted long when news of Unicol’s 4-1 loss at home to Edmonds Judd Te Awamutu Reserves filtered through.

Tauranga City United moved one point ahead of Unicol after collecting three points and three goals against Rotorua United Reserves, but they sit five points behind Cambridge with six games to play.

In other games, Tokoroa beat Taupo Reserves 3-0 to stay close to the top three, while Hamilton Wanderers won 5-1 at Richardson Racing Stables Matamata Reserves to jump into the top four. Old Blues beat Otumoetai Reserves 4-1 in the early game at Pemberton Park.

Match details here.