Herald Women’s Premier League Round 2 Preview

March 15th, 2018
Photo: Jim Carlton

Lindsay Green

Match of the Round
Merewether v Adamstown
Sunday, March 18th 2:30 pm
Arthur Edden Oval 

Last start: Adamstown beat Thornton 2-1; Merewether had a Bye

Position on ladder: Adamstown 2nd, three points; Merewether 5th, nil points

Squad news

Adamstown will take the field with returning players Kate Lindsay and club Captain Tayla Gregory but may lose Courtney Wiltshire due to injury. Merewether have sustained some heavy losses from their Grand Final side but standout Westfield W-League striker Rhali Dobson is expected to return.

What the coaches say

Adamstown coach Paul Devitis is looking forward to the challenge of playing last year’s benchmark team.

“We are very excited for the Round 2 clash against Merewether this weekend and we will be looking to improve our playing style.”

Bottom line

Key players are returning for both clubs in what should be a typical cut-throat match between the two sides. Tayla Gregory and Kate Lindsay will create more opportunities and open the field for Adamstown whilst Merewether’s Rhali Dobson will be difficult to contain. In round 2 last season, Merewether won the arm wrestle 6-0 but the Buds managed to cause them headaches during the 2017 season. Which team will better heading into the match? Will Merewether be able to gel together coming in after a week off? Or will Adamstown have the better hand coming from a win in round 1?


Warners Bay v New Lambton
Sunday, March 18th 2:30 pm
John Street Oval

Last start: Warners bay beat South Wallsend 8-1; New Lambton drew 1-1 with Wallsend

Position on ladder: Warners Bay 1st, three points; New Lambton 4th, 1 point 

Squad news

Warners Bay is without Sophie Stapleford due to injury with a replacement still to be decided. Darcie Bell returns for New Lambton and will be considered for selection with a few changes possibly made to the starting side after Friday’s training session.

What the coaches say

Warners bay player/coach Cassidy Davis is expecting New Lambton to be a tough challenge.

“We are definitely looking forward to the challenge,” she said.

“It’s always good to come off an exciting win last week but we have been working hard at training because we know New Lambton will be hard to beat.”

New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton believes the team will need to be at their best if they want to compete.

“These games against the best teams are one of the reasons the club wanted to be involved in the WPL,” he said.

“We have got a lot of improvement in us from Round 1 and we know we need to be at our very best on Sunday to get anything out of Warners Bay.

“We believe we are good enough to compete with anyone if we perform with the right level of focus, belief and quality.”

Bottom line

Sophie Stapleford was one of Warners Bays best players last weekend, continually threatening the Wolves’ defensive line and creating goal scoring opportunities. Stapleford is a big loss for the Bay, but newcomer’s Gaby Deacon and Tara Pender should fill the gap. The return of New Lambton’s goalkeeper Darcie Bell is welcomed, adding strength to the backline. The Bay put in a strong performance last weekend and their front third will be difficult to contain. New Lambton boasts quality across the park but are still finding their feet in the competition. Warners Bay cannot afford to take New Lambton lightly and both sides will need to be at their best to take the 3 points.


Wallsend v Thornton
Sunday, March 18th 2:30 pm
Kurraka Oval, Fletcher

Last start: Thornton lost 2-1 to Adamstown; Wallsend had a 1-1 draw with New Lambton

Position on ladder: Thornton 6th, nil points; Wallsend 3rd, 1 point

Squad news

Wallsend will be at full strength with the return of Jess Evans and Ellie Halls whilst Thornton is expected to field the same starting side.

What the coaches say

Thornton coach Rob Richardson is expecting it to be a tough match.

“Wallsend shared the points last weekend and we were unlucky not to do the same,” he said.

“The girls know it will be tough again this week as Wallsend have plenty of speed up front and the heat will probably be a factor.”

Wallsend coach Marc Hingston is hoping slight adjustments will improve their game.

“We are looking to keep the ball better this week and a solid preparation will allow that to happen.”

Bottom line

Last year’s cellar dwellers, Thornton, were unlucky not to share the points, but the team have already made a noticeable improvement which can be attributed to the culture and friendships formed on and off the field. Wallsend will be hoping to improve on last week’s performance and should be strong in attack with Sass Seaborn and Libby Copus-Brown. The key for Thornton will be holding a strong defensive line and shutting down the Devils’ strike power while Wallsend will need to focus on execution and ball movement. Predicting a close match with Wallsend to edge the Redbacks out.

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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