Photo: Alyshia Razmovski
Warners Bay FC v Merewether United
Jack McLaughlan Oval, August 20, 3 pm
Played three times this season. Merewether won 2-1 in the first round and 3-2 in the third round. Warners Bay won 1-0 in round two.
Past five starts
Warners Bay (from most recent): beat Mid North Coast 3-0, beat Mid North Coast 4-2, beat Mid North Coast 2-1, lost 3-2 to Merewether, drew 1-1 with South Wallsend.
Merewether: beat Adamstown 4-0, beat Adamstown 2-1, beat Thornton 7-1, beat Mid North Coast 1-0, beat Warners Bay 3-2.
Warners Bay first with 46 points, Merewether United second with 45.
Both teams are at full strength.
What the coaches say:
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis will urge her charges “to go at them”.
“We can’t sit back, that’s the main thing out of the three times we have played them,” Davis said.
“We need to take it to them from the start and be very attacking. It’s a Grand Final, it’s going to be an attacking game and there is no point sitting back.
“We need to be strong, stand our ground and do the simple things right.”
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen believed the result would be decided by ruthlessness.
“I think it will come down to whoever takes their chances,” Koppen said.
“I don’t foresee there will be too many opportunities to score. Merewether like to play the ball on the ground and we play a pretty good passing game and Warners Bay are probably similar in that respect.
“I think player for player across the park we’re probably the two strongest teams and we’re quite evenly matched, so it will be whoever takes their opportunities.”
They have already traded blows three times this season, all of which have been physical and mental battles and there will be no love lost between these two sides on Sunday. They have been the form teams of the competition and just one point separated them in the race for the Premiership. Warners Bay will still be hurting from losing a 3-2 in their third-round encounter and United are keen to make amends after failing to progress to the Grand Final in their championship defence last year. This is set to be fast paced and high tempo and a great advertisement for the women’s game. Warners Bay’s only two losses this season have come against Merewether while United have stumbled three times against different sides. Warners Bay have the best-attacking record in the league with 71 goals compared to United’s 67 but Merewether boasts the best defensive record of only 19 goals conceded in the regular season opposed to The Bay’s 21. There is virtually nothing separating these teams. Hedge your bets because this could go either way.
Thornton Redbacks FC v Adamstown Rosebud JFC
Jack McLaughlan Oval, August 20, 1 pm
Adamstown and Thornton have been the on form sides this year and will meet in the title decider. Thornton lost just one game on the way to finishing Premiers with 39 points, three ahead of second-placed Rosebud. Adamstown drew 2-2 with Warners Bay in their semi-final but progressed on away goals. Thornton beat Mid North Coast 3-1. In three meetings this season the two sides have won one apiece and drawn once.
South Wallsend JSC v Football Mid North Coast
Jack McLaughlan Oval, August 20, 11:15 am
Mid North Coast and South Wallsend finished the season in a three-way tie with Warners Bay for third and fourth places and both progressed to the finals with a superior goal difference. They made the most of their chances by taking down Adamstown and Thornton respectively in their two-legged semi-final. They have twice drawn with each other this year and Mid North Coast won 2-1 on the other occasion.
Adamstown Rosebud JFC v Wallsend FC
Jack McLaughlan Oval, August 20, 9:30 am
Adamstown and Wallsend were a class above this season and easily moved through the semi-finals. Rosebud finished on top of the competition ladder with 49 points after just one loss and Wallsend were second, eight points behind. Adamstown have twice beaten Wallsend this season and the Red Devils have got up once.