Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League Round 7 Preview


Every match in the round has some significance. The league?s top four teams, Macarthur Rams, NWS Koalas, Marconi Stallions and Many United FC go head to head in clashes that should provide some very exciting football. The top four fringe dwellers, Sutherland Sharks and Penrith Nepean United meet at Cook Park whilst the match between the two sides at the bottom end of the competition table, Central Coast Lightning and Sydney University, is sure to be played with the passion of a Grand Final as both sides look for their first win of the season. This certainly looms as a round that will separate the girls from the women!
The Football NSW Match of the Round coverage will be of the NWS Koalas versus Marconi Stallions game at Marconi Stadium. The Koalas sit in second place on goal difference with their only loss of the season being to leaders Macarthur Rams a fortnight ago. Marconi have gone along quietly but confidently which is the reason that their single loss of 2008 to Penrith Nepean United was such a shock. Both sides boast plenty of talent across the park. There have been slithers of brilliance from both teams as the season has progressed. Marconi?s first round 5-0 thrashing of Rams was a stunner. The two teams have both squeezed past Manly 1-0. Koalas were on the wrong end of both the scoreline and the body count against Macarthur but there was very little in the game. Alicia Cavanagh from Koalas will feel a little lost entering the visitors? dressing room in her long term home base at Marconi Stadium but I?m sure she?ll be keen for a victorious home coming.
I?m glad indeed that Sportsbet aren?t running a book on this one as I?d be struggling to make a selection. Oh, what the heck! Show some backbone Ross! Marconi by a split hair.
The Manly United FC versus Macarthur Rams match up at Cromer Park could certainly lay claim to being the banner match of the round also. The Rams have really started to hit their stride after a slow start to the season. In Cartwright, Haim and Ledbrook they have goal scoring options galore. Kylie Ledbrook has been in dominant form. She has continually laid the groundwork for Rams in the middle of the park. Manly will need to close her down or risk disaster. Manly have encountered weather problems, having two of their games this season washed out. They?ve run into two other top four sides resulting in narrow losses to both Marconi and Koalas. This is a quality team and they?ll certainly give Rams a shake. Rams by two.
Penrith Nepean United host Sutherland Sharks at Cook Park, St Marys. These two teams sit on the edge of the top four. Penrith?s start to the season has been somewhat disrupted by washouts but they?ve started to gather momentum in the last couple of weeks. The win over Marconi has given the mountain girls plenty of confidence. That quality ?confidence? can?t be in big supply at Sutherland just at the moment with a succession of losses against the top four sides in recent weeks. The Sharks have looked competitive but lack the attacking firepower to beat the championship contenders. This match is important to both sides as they won?t want to lose their grip on the top four, even at this relatively early stage of the season.
My head says a draw looks likely here but I?m developing a soft spot for Coach Michael Michael?s girls so I?ll let emotion rule my head by tipping a Sharks win.
The final match of the round sees Sydney University welcome Central Coast Lightning to Hensley Athletic Field.
University are yet to win a match whilst Lightning have a solitary point from their first round draw with Sutherland. University have found the rise to premier league status to be a tough road.  They have put up some creditable performances against Koalas and Sharks; performances that would appear to give them claims to favouritism in this one. Central Coast have experienced a forgettable season so far. A young team, missing so many of last season?s stars, they?ve struggled to pace it with the top sides. A win would be a tremendous boost for the youngsters. I?m sure they?ll be primed for a big effort.
Hmm, is this one any easier to pick than the match of the day? I doubt it! Let me just pick those splinters out from the fence sitting; a draw.
Anyone who is a fan of women?s football should be preparing to treat Mum for Mothers Day by getting her out to one of the Arrive Alive NSW Womens Premier League matches this weekend. Mum will thank you as she sits in the stand, pie in one hand, coffee in the other, watching the best players in the elite league battle it out in a great series of matches. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me.
-By Ross Anderson