SELECT Futsal Premier League offers a treat of matches to kickstart the festive season.
Round-12 Saturday games pitches Campbelltown Quake against Eastern Suburbs Hakoah at Minto Indoor Sports Centre (4.50pm), Dural Warriors meet UTS Northside at The Centre (6.50pm), Enfield Allstars face Inner West Magic at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre (8.05pm), and Mascot Vipers play Mountain Majik at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre (8.50pm).
Table positions remained unchanged but it got somewhat squashier as Mountain (22 points), Inner West (20), Dural (20), Mascot (17), Enfield (16) and Northside (14) bunch together in a thrilling run to the finals.
And even though the clowns have us fooled when they just keep on exiting that little red car, every mathematician will tell you that six into four don’t fit!
Inner West (153 points) are a whole round ahead in the club championship race, with Mascot (136), Mountain (126), Easts (111) and Campbelltown (101) safe for another PL season, leaving UTS (91), Enfield (88) and Dural (77) to feel the relegation heat with three rounds left to play.
Campbelltown Quake Eastern Subs Hakoah Minto Indoor Sports Centre 4.50pm Saturday 8 December
Dural Warriors UTS Northside The Centre, Dural 6.50pm Saturday 8 December
Enfield Allstars Inner West Magic Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre 8.05pm Saturday 8 December
Mascot Vipers Mountain Majik All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre 8.50pm Saturday 8 December
Campbelltown Quake vs Eastern Suburbs Hakoah
Campbelltown Quake just might catch a break when they face Eastern Suburbs Hakoah at Minto Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Quake’s lost seven in a row to set several club lows this summer and also close in on some unwanted league marks as well, but they’ve never lost their fighting spirit and may have enough in them against an Easts outfit that could be distracted by formulas.
You’d think seven points behind fourth-placed Mascot with only nine points on offer would sound the death knell for Hakoah’s playoff chances, but the fact Vipers have matches against top-two Mountain and Inner West either side of a pivotal Easts meeting means no-one’s singing just yet.
Campbelltown’s reputed bravado will only heighten their enjoyed moniker as playoff spoilers, and they’ll also want to fine-tune a misfiring Quake engine as they can still salvage some summer silverware as they face unbeaten runaway PL2 leaders Sydney City Eagles in tonight’s Futsal Cup semi-final – the winner to face Dural in the final at Valentine Sports Park on December 12.
Easts whitewashed Campbelltown 3-0 in the earlier round.
Dural Warriors vs UTS Northside
Dural Warriors need to be on their toes against a desperate UTS Northside at The Centre on Saturday evening.
While Warriors spin in a top-four washing machine that’s seen them rise from last to first and around again, UTS are playing for their playoff lives as they try to peg back the three-point gap between them and Vipers.
History recently got chucked out the window between these two sides: Dural won the first seven meetings before a stunning 4-2 Northside success earlier in the year, and UTS were also good value in a 2-4 loss in round five.
Enfield Allstars vs Inner West Magic
Bring your marshmallows ‘cause it’s sure to get toasty between Enfield Allstars and Inner West Magic at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night.
Inner West are storming home on a six-game unbeaten run and will fancy themselves to catch Mountain Majik two points ahead of them if they can stay true to their form.
Bah, form means nothing in a derby, and the fact Enfield have steadily built a force to be reckoned with, right under everyone’s noses, has everyone chomping at the bit!
Besides, the Allstars’ biggest run this summer has been two back-to-back victories yet they’ve only lost one more game than Magic, a stat they can rectify this weekend.
Oh and would you look at that! Despite Inner West’s burgeoning trophy cabinet, the clubs can’t be split in 17 charged encounters winning seven apiece and three draws, and 12 of the last 13 meetings have been decided by two goals or less.
The new Allstars beat (the old Allstars) Magic 3-2 in an epic round-five encounter at Valentine. [Ed: Cue Eye of the Tiger!]
Mascot Vipers vs Mountain Majik
You can’t write a better script for when the competition’s most besieged teams Mascot Vipers and Mountain Majik go head-to-head in a Saturday-night pressure-cooker at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre.
Fourth-placed Mascot (17) has Enfield (16) and Northside (14) breathing down their necks and simply can’t afford any slip-ups in a tough run home.
First-placed Mountain (22) have their own worries as they sit just two points ahead of Inner West (20) and Dural (20), and would even blow a premiership sniff Mascot’s way should Majik falter this weekend.
The fixture battles have been tremendous over the years, averaging over 10 goals a game in a remarkable 5-5 split (one draw). Vipers beat Majik 5-3 in the earlier round.
– By Dan de Nardi