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Sunday, June 11, 2.15pm
Adamstown v Wallsend
At Adamstown Oval
Last start: Adamstown beat Thornton 4-0; Wallsend drew 2-2 with South Wallsend.
Last time they met: Drew 2-2.
Position on ladder: Adamstown third, 17 points; Wallsend sixth, eight points.
Squad news: Both should be close to full strength and Wallsend have just a question mark over Sophie Phillips, but she will be given until game day to prove her fitness.
What the coaches say: Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico described this as “another must-win game”.
“We know it will be a tough match, and a physical game and we know they are a good side so we’ve got to be at our best, but we’re looking forward to the match,” D’Amico said.
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos expected Rosebud to be full of confidence after winning their past four outings.
“We are looking at converting our past two draws into a win,” Kapalos said.
“The team has trained well and are prepared for a good Adamstown team that would have been growing in confidence with the return of Lauren Allan.”
Bottom line: Adamstown seem to have found their rhythm again with four straight wins putting them in a strong third-place position. The return of Lauren Allan has proved an additional spark for Rosebud and she was more than impressive with her four-goal haul against Thornton last weekend. Wallsend continue to underachieve but need to start making a move if they want to be around come finals time.
Merewether v Thornton
At Myamblah Oval
Last start: Merewether beat Mid North Coast 4-2; Thornton lost 4-0 to Adamstown.
Last time they met: Merewether won 5-0.
Position on ladder: Merewether second, 30 points; Thornton last, three points.
Squad news: Merewether are without suspended goalkeeper Alison Logue plus Lori Depczynski and Hannah Sunasky are unavailable while Thornton should be at full strength.
What the coaches say: Thornton coach Robbie Richardson knows this was a hard assignment but said spirits remained high.
“Everyone worked really hard at training on Tuesday night, and that’s what we do,” he said.
“We know we’ve got a big task ahead of us and that’s how we’re approaching it.”
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen was wary of a hard-working Thornton side.
“They play to the game plan well,” Koppen said.
“They get eight or nine players behind the ball, compress and they play quite deep, which makes it hard to penetrate beyond them.
“Last time we played them it was only 1-0 for a lot of the game and then the floodgates opened later, so we’re going to have to stay patient and not get frustrated.”
Bottom line: This looks destined to be a one-sided affair but Thornton held the competition heavyweights at bay for a sustained period in their round-one encounter and United only sealed the points late in the match. It is hard to see Merewether getting beaten but they will have to fight to get through an at-times resilient Redbacks defence.
Mid North Coast v Warners Bay
At Taree Zone Fields
Last start: Mid North Coast lost 4-2 to Merewether; Warners Bay beat Merewether 1-0.
Last time they met: Warners Bay won 3-2.
Position on ladder: Warners Bay first, 30 points; Mid North Coast fifth, 11 points.
Squad news: Warners Bay are without Sass Seaborn and Nadja Squires due to unavailability and Corinne Krupa, who is suspended. Mid North Coast have a couple of players in doubt through injury but coach Mick Day will not finalise his squad until after training tonight. Both coaches expected to call on some of their under 18s players.
What the coaches say: Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis said it was inevitable that teams were out to get them and expected a hostile reception in Taree.
“They’re not a team to take lightly and I think they are still probably under-rated,” Davis said.
“Plus they are going to be at home and the girls need to be ready.
“The more games you win, the more teams want to beat you; us and Merewether have that on our backs.”
Mid North Coast coach Mick Day said his squad were up for the challenge of taking on the league front-runners.
“We are looking forward to playing Warners Bay,” he said.
“They deserve to be at the top and are a class outfit.
“The girls are very upbeat and keen to push hard through the back half of the season and secure a semi-final spot.”
Bottom line: Mid North Coast gave Merewether a run for their money last week and get the chance to take it to the other competition heavyweights this weekend. They are one point out of the top four but can move into fourth place with a result from this game. The losses of Sass Seaborn and Nadja Squires will be felt by Warners Bay but they have good depth and should still be strong across the park. Expect another tight game.
South Wallsend – bye
Points table: Warners Bay 30, Merewether 30, Adamstown 17, South Wallsend 12, Mid North Coast 11, Wallsend 8, Thornton 3.