The two leading sides on the table, NWS Koalas and Macarthur Rams, go to war at Lynwood Park on Sunday with plenty to play for.
The Koalas currently sit three points clear of Rams atop the ladder. They were sailing along quite merrily with a four point lead until their shock loss to Sydney University last weekend at ELS Hall Park. Fortunately for The Koalas, Macarthur had some problems of their own with the Sutherland Sharks which stopped them from taking from taking full advantage of The Koalas slip up. But with Macarthur having a superior goal difference and The Koalas having a tough run into the finals, Sunday?s game could well decide which club will hold the Minor Premiership shield for 2008.
The previous two meetings of these sides were tight encounters with both sides winning at home. There were no prisoners taken in either game; Macarthur aren?t a team that takes a backward step. Methinks that things will not be any different on Sunday with so much at stake.
The Rams always seem to lift a cog or two in front of their home fans. Stephanie Haim and Kylie Ledbrook have been in great form all season whilst Renee Cartwright and Danielle Brogan have made major contributions. The Rams side have their brilliant players but they?re more than suitably supported by a team with a solid work ethic. There are still plenty of Premier League fans who think that The Rams are the best side in the Arrive Alive NSW Women?s Premier League.
The Koalas have produced a very consistent performance each week. It?s been said often that they don?t seem to thump side on the scoreboard in the same manner as The Rams or Manly United FC often do. But, The Koalas always seem to get the job done. Well, they did until last week! They have a blend of experience and enthusiasm that has made them major contender this season. Alicia Cavanagh, Sanaa Hawkins and Danni Calvi have been the sports cars up front whilst players like McLean, Spirovski and Cirjak have kept the engine purring in midfield and defence.
This should be a great match. I?ve learnt not to tip against The Rams at home. I?m loathe to fall into the trap again. The Rams by one but I?m not confident.
Elsewhere, Manly United play Sutherland Sharks at Cromer Park.
The Sutherland girls may still be out celebrating last weekend?s effort in snatching a draw from Macarthur Rams. That was a great result for The Sharks but now they have to back it up against a similarly daunting opponent in Manly United FC.
Manly are a side that can certainly do some major damage to their opponents on the scoreboard. Once they get on a roll goals come quickly. Like many sides they enjoy their home ground advantage. There are a couple of warning signs there for our intrepid Sharks girls already!
The Sharks will need to play with the same spirit and enthusiasm they displayed last weekend. There?s no reason why they can?t finish their season off with a burst of their true ability. Goal scoring is still a problem but, with the Sutherland scouts already touring Africa looking for a six foot seven inch girl who can run the 100 in 10.16, this is sure to be rectified in 2009.
Sorry Adriana/girls but I?m tipping Manly. Sorry Manly but I?m tipping you to win. Somebody is sure to come out of this happy.
The Central Coast Lightning girls travel to Marconi Stadium on Sunday for their clash with the Marconi Stallions.
Central Coast have had a less than enjoyable journey through the 2008 season. Marconi will be keen to add to the tale of woe with a convincing victory here. The Stallions sit fourth on the ladder, equal on points with Manly but with an inferior goal difference. Penrith are still lurking but The Stallions would be confident, given their draw, of safely making their way into the finals. They look to have a little too much firepower for the Lightning youngsters. I suspect it?ll be another long trip home to the Central Coast come Sunday evening.
Marconi to win well; whatever definition that takes!
Finally, Sydney University look to continue their giant killing run when they host Penrith Nepean United at Sydney University Oval.
Last week?s great win over NWS Koalas was surely a season highlight for the University side. Can they back it up with a similar performance here? Penrith have to keep winning. They would have fancied their chances of a grandstand finish to the year playing, the three bottom sides on the ladder in the final rounds. The last thing they would have wanted was to see Sydney University and Sutherland Sharks finding the sort of form they showed us last week!
Have University lost their ?defensive? tag after the Koalas game? Can Penrith out enthuse the locals? Do the University girls really have a picture of me on their dart board in the dressing room? Throw another dart girls, I?m going for Penrith. OUCH!
There?s some big games ahead in the final weeks of the Arrive Alive NSW Women?s Premier League but they won?t get much bigger than this weekend?s match of the round between The Rams and The Koalas. All roads lead to Campbelltown on Sunday for this one!
-By Ross Anderson