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Mid North Coast v Warners Bay
Sunday, July 30, 2.15pm
At Taree Zone Fields
Last start: Mid North Coast lost 1-0 to Merewether; Warners Bay lost 3-2 to Merewether.
This season: Warners Bay won 3-2 in Round 7 and 9-2 in Round 14.
Position on ladder: Mid North Coast fourth, 20 points; Warners Bay first, 43 points.
What the coaches say: Mid North Coast Mick Day believes his side will be buoyed by their close clash with second-placed Merewether last weekend and are “performing at the exact right time of the season”.
“Our girls have actually come out of last weekend’s game against Merewether with a lot of confidence, knowing that if we were anywhere close to full strength, we’d win,” Day said.
“What most have not noticed is that before last weekend, in the previous four rounds we had won three of four. Coming into the finals that is the best win ratio of the top-four teams.
“We have a lot of respect for Warners Bay and we look forward to giving them a good game.”
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis was not taking into consideration their seven-goal win over Mid North Coast last time they met, saying results in recent weeks had shown anything can happen this time of the season.
“We went and watched them against Merewether last week,” Davis said.
“They’re obviously struggling with numbers but they’ve still got three key players in Shannon Day, Sophie Jones and Imogene Tomasone and we can’t give them any time on ball because they’ll do something.
“They’ve got young girls playing off them and they’re fit and active and they’re going to run all day.
“We’re expecting a tough game.”
Bottom line: There may have been seven goals in it last time but Mid North Coast have shown throughout the year they can match it with the other top-four sides. Merewether only scored at the death last week and there was just one goal in it when these two sides first met this season. Warners Bay will clinch the minor premiership if they win this, and that will mean they will meet each other again the following week when the semi-finals begin. Both sides will want a strong hit-out ahead of the finals series and this should be a tight affair.
Wallsend v Adamstown
Sunday, July 30, 2.15pm
At Wallsend Oval
Last start: Wallsend’s game was abandoned; Adamstown beat Thornton 6-1.
This season: Wallsend drew 2-2 with Adamstown in Round 7 and Rosebud won 2-1 in Round 14.
Position on ladder: Wallsend sixth, 11 points; Adamstown third, 29 points.
What the coaches say: Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico emphasised the importance of having a good performance heading into the finals.
“We’re looking to continue our good form ahead of the semis and the girls are enjoying themselves,” D’Amico said.
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos said they were looking forward to the match.
“The girls have had a tough year with results but have had a fantastic year in general,” Kapalos said.
“Our defence has been strong but limited goals has cost us a semi-final spot. The girls have adapted to our new club vision and philosophy and have set a crucial foundation for further development in years to come.
“We look forward to this weekend’s round with Adamstown and congratulate them on successive years in winning the Friendship Cup and wish Lou and the girls good luck for the semi-finals.”
Bottom line: Adamstown have been quietly going about their business with the finals looming and will be keen for a strong performance ahead of their semi-final series against either Merewether or Warners Bay. This should provide a tough hit-out for them leading up to their finals campaign.
Thornton v Merewether
Sunday, July 30, 2.15pm
At Thornton Park
Last start: Thornton lost 6-1 to Adamstown; Merewether beat Mid North Coast 1-0.
This season: Merewether won 5-0 in Round 7 and 7-1 in Round 14.
Position on ladder: Thornton last, six points; Merewether second, 42 points.
What the coaches say: Merewether coach Cassie Koppen warned her side against complacency ahead of the clash.
“We want to finish the season on a high and it will be a good confidence boost ahead of the finals if we get a few on the score sheet this weekend,” Koppen said.
“But we can’t get trapped into complacency and we need to get into finals mode now.
“It’s up to us from here on in to set the benchmark and play a good style of football.”
Thornton coach Robbie Richardson said “it’s been a long season for our girls but we’ll keep going until the last whistle”.
Bottom line: Thornton may have conceded 12 goals against United in two outings this season but they showed they what they are capable of when they defeated South Wallsend in Round 19. This is the Redbacks’ last game of the season and they will be looking to finish their year on a high. Merewether, on the other hand, are still a chance of securing the minor premiership if Mid North Coast beat Warners Bay and have plenty to play for ahead of the finals series. Should be a good game for the spectators.
South Wallsend – bye
Points table: Warners Bay 43, Merewether 42, Adamstown 29, Mid North Coast 20, South Wallsend 19, Wallsend 11, Thornton 6.