Arrive Alive NSW Womens Super League Round 3 Preview


The top teams on the competition ladder lock horns whilst those who have started the season slowly get an opportunity to push for much needed points.
Two matches appear to stand out as blockbusters.
One pits the pride of the west, Western NSW Panthers against Gladesville Ravens, the other has the high flying Illawarra Stingrays battling the quiet achievers from Bankstown Wildcats. The latter game will be the Football NSW match for coverage this weekend.
Bankstown host Illawarra at Jensen Park on Sunday. Illawarra have racked up 14 goals in two matches with the twin Michelles; Carney and Heyman leading the way. That said their job has been made much easier by the fine efforts of players like Christie Akid, Caitlin Danyi and Erica Holloway.
The Stingrays have looked the real deal but this match promises to be their biggest test so far this season. Bankstown have scored two handy wins of their own over Blacktown Spartans and Northern Tigers.
One hopes that there?ll be plenty of home town support for the girls from the south west as a positive result in this match could well define their season. Whichever way things go this promises to be a tough battle between two very talented teams.
Our other top of the table clash sees Gladesville Ravens travelling over the mountains to meet the Western NSW Panthers in Bathurst.
The Panthers have started the season in fine spirits with a solid win in the country derby against Southern NSW FC before putting five goals past the struggling Inter Lions last weekend. They will be keen to continue the momentum but Gladesville loom as a big test of The Panthers premiership credentials.
Everywhere I go people are talking about Gladesville and asking if this may be their year. Well, this is Ravens chance to show exactly what they have to offer. Proctor Park should be rocking when these two sides take the field.
Southern NSW FC host the Blacktown Spartans in Nowra.
Southern have suffered defeats at the hands of Panthers and Ravens so far this season. Blacktown were narrowly beaten by Bankstown in round one before having their second round clash with UNSW washed out in last weekend?s storm. Both sides will be keen to get their seasons back on track in what should be an absorbing struggle.
UNSW and Northern Tigers will also be keen to get off the bottom rung of the ladder when they meet at David Phillips Field.
The Tigers have not been disgraced in either of their losses but have struggled to match it with the more highly related sides. UNSW put up a promising performance in their only outing with a narrow loss to Gladesville in round one. UNSW may start slight favourites for this one but expect the Tigers girls to come calling with plenty of enthusiasm.  
The final match of the round sees St George FC clashing with Inter Lions at Peakhurst. Both sides are coming off comprehensive defeats in round two; St George after an 8-1 drubbing by Illawarra and Inter a 5-0 scoreline against Western Panthers.
St George, at least, have tasted some early success with a narrow round 1 win over Northern Tigers. Inter will be very keen to lift for this one and prove that they belong in the big time.
This mightn?t look the most attractive game of the round on paper but games like this one often provide the most passion and determination from the two combatants.
So, round three of the Arrive Alive Womens Super League promises to answer some questions about the finals aspirations of a number of sides. Whether they be top of the table clashes or otherwise this round looms as a very defining one, even at this early stage of the season. Good luck to all the sides.
Our report on the Bankstown Wildcats v Illawarra Stingrays match will appear on the Football NSW website on Monday.
I?d also recommend that everyone register to receive the Football NSW E Newsletter which, apart from informative articles on various football competitions across the state also carries our new Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League/Super League Player Interview.
-By Ross Anderson