Still the Minor Premiership, Club Championship and final four spots are waiting to be won with the two biggest jewels being fought out by Illawarra Stingrays and Western NSW Panthers. Illawarra stumbled last week, dropping valuable points to Gladesville Ravens, but the title hopes of the top two look likely to come down to their final round clash on 10th August.
The top three sides on the table are safe as far as finals football is concerned but this weekend?s match between Southern NSW (4th) and St George FC (5th) could decide the final member of the elite four. St George, simply, must win. Southern NSW have been very hard to beat at home during the season so the task facing St George is a tough one. I?m sure that the both teams will be primed for a big performance. The two sides? previous clash saw a nine goal thriller, eventually won convincingly by Southern NSW 6-3.
Southern could yet be the dark horse come finals time. I lean towards them in this encounter. Good luck to both sides though!
Bankstown Wildcats will host cellar dwellers UNSW in a game that?s all about pride. Bankstown have battled their way through the season, though their form in recent weeks has been creditable. UNSW have also turned in some competitive performances of late; no-one can doubt the side?s heart. However, Bankstown look to be a side with a bit more firepower on offer and, as such, would be firm favourites for this one.
I think The Wildcats will get home by two goals.
Illawarra Stingrays will be looking to bounce back from last week?s disappointment with a solid win over one of the competition?s strugglers in Blacktown Spartans. I still wonder why Blacktown haven?t performed better this season than their spot on the ladder reflects. Last weekend they showed exactly what they?re capable of with a 7-1 smashing of Northern Tigers. The Spartans have come up with a couple of similar efforts during the season but consistency has not been their forte. They?d need to be at their best to trouble the high flying Stingrays. Captain Bronwyn Jarvis scored four goals last weekend. She really is one of the league?s most talented players.
Illawarra were frustrated by a determined, spirited Ravens side last week. The Stingrays failed to take their chances and suffered accordingly. A few dented egos will be looking for some therapy on Sunday; not a good sign for the visiting Spartans. I pretty sure that at least one of the ?Twin Michelles? will be hoping for a five star performance this weekend. That usually means GOALS. By the way, a belated Happy Birthday to the Danyi twins who turned 17 last Sunday. I guess The Ravens spoiled the party somewhat for the girls but maybe the candles will burn brighter this weekend.
Illawarra to win by a safe margin.
Inter Lions meet Gladesville Ravens at Ron Routley Reserve. Inter have battled along in recent weeks with injury leaving their squad somewhat depleted. They have a number of other sides looming close behind them on the ladder. The girls certainly don?t deserve to finish the season near the bottom of the table so; hopefully, Coach Joe Baldacci can inspire his girls to a big effort in the coming weeks.
The Ravens? Wow, what a performance last weekend! I don?t know what Coach Paul Wade fed the girls prior to the match but raw meat seems to have been one of the possibilities. The girls put everything on the line with a five star effort which any side in the league could look upon as an example for what enthusiasm, spirit and good old fashioned guts can do. If I wore a hat, ladies, I?d take it off to you!
The Ravens have a busy weekend ahead with a Saturday night catch up game with Western NSW Panthers prior to their Sunday meeting with Inter. I know one side from the South Coast who?ll be hoping Gladesville can repeat last week?s effort on Saturday night. Come on girls; you?ve proven what you can do. Back it up this weekend and prove that you?re genuine contenders!
I couldn?t possibly tip against The Ravens after last Sunday. They really impressed me.
The final game of the round sees Western NSW Panthers up against Northern Tigers at Alec Lamberton Field. The Panthers certainly will be on the go this weekend; having to travel to Sydney for a Saturday night match with Gladesville before heading back over the mountains for a Sunday afternoon game with The Tigers. I think the Bathurst girls will sleep well on Sunday night!
The Tigers took a hammering last weekend from Blacktown. Not good form for a meeting with a side that?s hunting for both the Minor Premiership and Club Championship! The Panthers have everything to play for; that?s got to be a tremendous motivating factor even on a tough weekend like this one.
I like gritty teams like The Tigers. However, The Panthers are a classy side that play a fine brand of football. Providing they survive the rigours of Saturday night I can?t see them losing this one. Panthers by three.
Similarly to their sisters in the Arrive Alive NSW Women?s Premier League the Super League ladies appear faced with a round that doesn?t present the opportunity for too many upsets. You never can tell what might happen though.
-By Ross Anderson