We’ve had 11 rounds of furious National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens action which has left us with four teams vying for the 2020 Championship.
Sunday afternoon is a double feature of fantastic semi-final action to help determine our Grand Final.
Let’s get onto the Preview!
Semi-Final 1: Sutherland Shire FA vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 4 October, 2:30pm, Harrie Denning Centre
For our first semi-final, Sutherland Shire FA look to press their claims for a Grand Final spot against the high-flying Marconi Stallions at Harrie Denning Centre at 2:30pm Sunday afternoon.
Perennial contenders Sutherland Shire FA earnt the right to host this final with their strong performance in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens regular season. Their only loss came against North Shore Mariners in a wild five goal contest but now they hunt the Grand Final.
Much of the season must’ve felt like Marconi Stallions was stuck in a football IKEA store with the four draws they were involved in this season. The Stallions finished with a flourish and locked up third spot and their first final since their demotion two seasons ago.
Added to the spice, these two sides played out a pulsating 1-1 draw back in Round 6 at Marconi Stadium. Both sides also want to try to possibly get another crack at Premiers North Shore Mariners if results fall the right way.
Sutherland Shire FA has built their success around the core of players they have retained each season. Headlining their attack is talismanic striker Jordan Baker, whose partnership with new signing Stevie Donougher has given them an added dimension.
Their battle with the Stallions striking duo – Ceyda Cambaz and Tania Baban – will be one contest to watch in this game and may go a long way to deciding the winner. Cambaz finished her season with a hat-trick to make it 14 goals this season.
The strength of the Stallions attack though has been the service from their midfield for both Cambaz and Baban. Danielle Bishop and Joanna Martino have provided some key passes and need to be shut down for the home side to stay in the contest.
Our final word will be for the two custodians in this contest. Renee Krstanovska for Marconi and Chloe Avgoustou for Sutherland Shire FA are experienced shot stoppers and will be keen to get a decisive victory between two quite attacking sides.
Semi-Final 2: North Shore Mariners vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 4 October, 3pm, Northbridge Oval
In the second semi-final, we have a second round of the Mariners derby. Premiers North Shore Mariners host Central Coast Mariners at their fortress of Northbridge Oval on Sunday afternoon.
In their first season in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition, North Shore Mariners left their mark on the other sides. North Shore went through the whole season undefeated and rounded off the regular season with an 11-goal thrashing of Inter Lions.
Central Coast Mariners by comparison has been the quiet achievers of the competition. Dan Barrett’s side has accumulated enough points, ground through teams to hold off Nepean FC and SD Raiders FC for the final spot in the top four.
It will be a tough task for any side to lower the colours of North Shore Mariners. They only had a single draw all season (a wild 2-2 draw against Marconi Stallions) and much of that has been down to their prolific strikers.
Evelyn Chronis won the Golden Boot by six goals. Her partnership with both Rita Boateng and Siahn Bozanic helped the North Shore Mariners put teams to the sword. Add in some superb work from custodian Trudy Burke and it makes it a tough prospect.
All that leans everything towards the North Shore Mariners but the Central Coast side will relish in the underdog status headed into Sunday afternoon. Dan Barrett’s side will make themselves tough to break down and try to blunt the much-vaunted North Shore attack.
Central Coast do have their own attacking weapons to throw at their opponents. Captain Gabrielle Blanch is an inspirational figure alongside stylish youngster Iona Snape make for a good partnership.
One final note for Mariners winger Elizabeth Shorter who has been in a purple patch of form and throw in their shot stopper in Rhiannon Hines makes for a mouth-watering contest decide our second Grand Finalist.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)