SELECT Futsal Premier League round 12 will go a long way in sorting out the tops from the drops.
Magic (29) and Majik (24) lead the way as UTS (18) and Quake (17) look to finish ahead of Hakoah (13) and Vipers (12), with Allstars (7) and Warriors (5) no longer in the playoff picture.
The club championship is also in Inner West’s grasp (153 points) well clear of Mascot (136), Mountain (126), Easts (111) and Campbelltown (101), leaving UTS (91), Enfield (88) and Dural (77) to stave off PL relegation.
And while we’re talking magic, it’s also an all-PL1 finish to the 2019`8 Futsal Cup as Mascot Vipers and UTS Northside battle it out in tonight’s semi-final for the right to face Inner West in the December 12 final at Valentine Sports Park.
Campbelltown Quake vs Eastern Suburbs Hakoah
It’s do-or-die for Eastern Suburbs Hakoah as they travel to Minto Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon for a critical match against Campbelltown Quake.
Quake are fourth, four points ahead of Hakoah, and can steer clear of playoff danger with a win this weekend.
Campbelltown haven’t had the best of seasons on home turf winning just one of five matches at Minto, but they’ve done enough on the road (including a 2-1 win at Easts in round five) to position themselves well heading to the season finish.
Hakoah haven’t put together successive wins all summer, and considering their next game is against unbeaten leaders Inner West, the pressure is all on them to show what they’re made of.
Dural Warriors vs UTS Northside
Dural Warriors meet UTS Northside in interesting circumstances at The Centre on Saturday evening.
Third-placed UTS have dropped their last four games and could fall short of the playoffs should Warriors – who haven’t won since round two – catch them on the bounce.
It certainly is doable for Dural, who despite coming last boast the competition’s second-best defensive outlay, conceding 22 times (double Inner West’s 11).
If Warriors can knock in some goals it could upset the northerners, who’ve only beaten Dural twice in the past six meetings, most recently a tough 1-0 round-five success.
Enfield Allstars vs Inner West Magic
It’s derby time as Enfield Allstars welcome neighbours Inner West Magic to Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night.
Inner West have one hand on the premiership trophy five points ahead of closest rivals Mountain, but they’ve done it the hard way with their last four runs resulting in three one-goal wins and Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Majik.
Enfield have been excellent value throughout summer and only five gut-wrenching one-goal defeats has kept them from figuring in the finals dash – that and the fact they haven’t won at home all season.
Inner West have won the last six Enfield encounters, scoring 24 goals to four, but a gritty 1-0 round-five result may unnerve Magic a touch. Ceyda Cambaz has scored in the last four meetings.
Mascot Vipers vs Mountain Majik
It’s the last throw of the dice for Mascot Vipers when they face Mountain Majik at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night.
Currently five points behind fourth-placed Campbelltown with only nine points on offer to close the season, Mascot simply cannot lose this weekend and feature in the finals.
They’ve certainly hit their straps at the right time of year and head into the fixture on a four-game unbeaten run (after going win-less the first seven rounds), but the Mountaineers have lost just once all season (3-5 to UTS) to underline their own magnificent form.
The head-to-head is fascinating: Majik’s thrilling 5-4 round-five win over Vipers halted a four-game losing sequence that included 10-1 and 4-0 beltings just two summers ago.
– By Dan de Nardi