Round 25 – National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s Preview
It is down to the last 2 rounds in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s.
With the Premiership decided, the last spots for the finals are in hot demand and 5 teams are still in the mix.
Its going to be a mad dash to the finish, which team has got the legs to hurdle their opponents and land them in the finals pit?
Match of the Round: Northern Tigers vs. Hills United – 7pm Saturday 18th August, North Turramurra Recreation Area
Tigers put on an impressive display against the inform Saints and looked to have secured a vital win only for a lapse late in the game ending it in stalemate.
The result saw them slip out of a finals spot and down to 8th, this week they will be out finish off their chances and put in another impressive performance to mark their worth for the finals.
Talk about rubbing salt into the wound, Hills grabbed a hard earned win against Spartans and jumped above the Tigers, sitting a sole place above on the ladder and only by goal difference.
Both sides will be bringing high intensity and pure hunger to reach the finals. Mark this one in the diary, it is going to be a clash that is surely to produce an outstanding game of football.
Central Coast Mariners vs. St George FC – 4pm Saturday 18th August, Pluim Park
How things can turn sour so quickly. Central Coast have been their own worst enemy of late, effectively shooting themselves in the foot and costing them ground in the Club Championship.
It is time to return home, head down to the shore, breathe in and start again. It’s not over and the never say die attitude engrained in the club is sure to come to the forefront as the young yellow and navy seek to make their final stand for promotion.
St George’s superb form almost came crashing down at the hands of the Tigers last week. Finding themselves behind in the game they dug deep and managed to grab an equaliser to keep them in second place.
You feel the momentum is still favouring the Saints and they will relish the chance to sour the Mariners season even further by taking them down this weekend.
Blacktown Spartans vs. Rydalmere Lions – 7pm Saturday 18th August, Blacktown Football Park
Sitting dead last doesn’t sit well with the Spartans. This week a return home will give them the chance to spoil the Lions quest to make the finals. It is a strange predicament for the Spartans, the wooden spoon has almost engulfed them but there is still the tiniest flicker et the end of the tunnel and spoiling the Lions dash to the finals is the only road out.
Rydalmere will be a little nervy after the nail-biting loss to Mounties this past weekend. Clawing their way back into the game they showed resilience that will be required should they make it to the post-season.
It is another match with everything on the line, expect the players to leave nothing on the pitch at the end of this one.
Macarthur Rams vs. Mounties Wanderers – 7pm Saturday 18th August, Lynwood Park
After spending almost the entire season stuffed at the bottom of the ladder, the Rams now find themselves with a little bit of breathing room and will like their chances to escape the dreaded wooden spoon.
They return home full of confidence after toppling Western Sydney Wanderers and with a win again this week they will almost certainly have pulled off the magic trick of the season.
Last week Mounties produced an emphatic 20 minutes in the second half to change the game against the Lions. Then they almost let their hard work come crashing down but were able to grab a last gasp goal to seal the win.
After the almost heart attack suffered at the hands of the game, coach Palapanis will be preparing his lads week to prevent any chances of a repeat. Perhaps he will send out his Mounties with his magic words to start the game and we bear witness to another great display of attacking football.
Parramatta FC vs. Mt Druitt Town Rangers – 3pm Sunday 19th August, Melita Stadium
It has come down to this.
Promotion versus relegation. First versus last.
Call it what you will, it will be a match that may determine the fate of both sides place in the NPL 2 or not next year.
It would be a shame to see the Rangers slip up yet the news of winning the Premiership will have subsided and they will be refocused on the task at hand, all systems go.
Parramatta it seems have a date with destiny set in the diary. A win last week kept the hopes of a miracle still alive. Whatever the case, the Eagles will not go down without a fight and they will be swooping in to try and crash the Rangers party.
North Shore Mariners vs. GHFA Spirit FC – 4pm Sunday 19th August, Northbridge Oval
North Shore grabbed the bragging rights over big brother last week and creep up to sit even on points on the ladder.
They have made Northbridge Oval somewhat of a fortress over the course of the season, combine that with their recent form of being clinical when given half chances, it forms a blueprint for a tough team to beat.
Spirit grabbed arguably the best win of the weekend’s matches and now have high hopes of continuing their charge into the finals.
On the road again, they will need to come out firing from the start to put the hosts on the backfoot and be clinical in front of goal with every opportunity they get their hands on.
It will be a match that is sure to produce a great spectacle and a fantastic way to cap off the second last round of the season.
By Marcus Flottmann