VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
Warners Bay v South Wallsend
Sunday 17th June, 2:30 pm, Walker Fields
Last start: Warners Bay drew 2-2 with Merewether, South Wallsend lost 3-2 to Merewether
Position on ladder: Warners Bay 1st, 22 points; South Wallsend 5th, 6 points
Both sides are expected to be at full-strength.
What the coaches say
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis said they can’t afford to take South Wallsend lightly despite their previous 7-1 and 8-2 victories.
“We are expecting a tough game to start the third round, especially because we played last night against Merewether,” Davis said.
“Southy have a strong team when they are at full-strength and players like Mj Mason and Gemma Pearce are difficult to contain.
“We aren’t thinking about our last two matches against them because they are a quality side that we can’t afford to take lightly.
“There was a lot of positive signs against Merewether so we will be looking to take that into Sunday’s game.”
History hasn’t been kind to South Wallsend, with their last win over Warners Bay back in round 20, 2016. However, it would be dangerous to discount a side that narrowly lost by one goal to both Merewether and New Lambton in recent weeks. The Bays’ mid-week physical clash against Merewether could take the wind out of their sails which is music to South Wallsend’s ears. A win for the Wolves could see them knocking on the door of the top four, while for Warners Bay, it’s a chance to extend their lead for the minor premiership. An important game for both sides with executing opportunities likely to be the deciding factor.
New Lambton v Wallsend
Sunday 17th June, 2:30 pm, Alder Park
Last start: New Lambton beat Adamstown 5-3, Wallsend lost 7-1 to Warners Bay
Position on ladder: New Lambton 3rd, 18 points; Wallsend 4th, 7 points
New Lambton are expected to be at full-strength. Wallsend welcome back Georgia Little from injury with former Thornton captain Sophie Milton and teammate Jennifer Jongbloed set to make their debut.
What the coaches say
Eagles coach Keelan Hamilton is hoping to build momentum heading into the business end of the season.
“We have been disrupted this week with our U20’s side playing last night and the long weekend so training has been difficult,” Hamilton said.
“It’s a big game for us and we are focused on improving our effectiveness with the ball and being more disciplined defensively.
“We have conceded a few goals in recent weeks but we can’t afford to do that against Wallsend because they have players who, when given space, will utilise it and make you pay.
“I don’t think there is one particular key to defeating Wallsend because they have a lot of athleticism in their side which makes them a tough opponent.
“We have a tendency to let games hang in the balance but hopefully, if we get in front of Wallsend, we can control the game and get the job done.”
Wallsend coach Marc Hingston said his side is heading into the do or die match with a fresh mindset and positive attitude.
“Having three weeks off has essentially been a blessing in disguise because our injured players have had time to recover heading into an important match,” Hingston said.
“Our focus this week has been developing combinations and getting confidence back with first touches, which is something we have struggled with recently.
“The last time we played New Lambton, we had more chances in the first half but they had a good 15 minute period where they put the game to bed.
“If you give a side like New Lambton room to move, it only takes them five minutes to belt you so we need to stay compact and organised defensively.”
It’s a classic battle of 3rd v 4th with New Lambton the better of the two last time they met. Wallsend has only scored one goal in their last three appearances compared to New Lambton’s 12 but don’t expect that to be a factor come Sunday afternoon. Both sides have a fairly young squad with a few experienced players in the mix which creates an even playing field. New Lambton will be wary of a new look Devil’s side consisting of fleet-footed Georgia Little and classy duo Sophie Milton and Jennifer Jongbloed. The stage is set for a physical showdown and with Wallsend’s top four spot on the line, it’s shaping up to be a cracking match.
Merwether & Warners Bay have the BYE.