By Renee Valentine
Warners Bay v Adamstown
Sunday, May 15, 2.15pm
At John St Oval
Last start: Warners Bay drew 3-3 with Merewether last Sunday; Adamstown defeated Merewether 4-2 Tuesday night.
Last time they met: Adamstown beat Warners Bay 5-1.
Position on ladder: Adamstown first with 22 points, Warners Bay fourth (11).
Adamstown coach Ben Herron was worried he could be scraping together a side for this match after a tough week in which they played Wallsend and Merewether in the space of three days.
Rosebud clearly stated their premiership intentions this week with a 6-2 win over previously unbeaten Wallsend on Sunday followed by a 4-2 victory over defending champions Merewether in a rescheduled fixture on Tuesday night.
But Herron was worried the back-to-back games may take their toll and expected to be missing up to five players on the weekend.
Lucy Hewson, Beth Le Gay Brereton, Serena Carter and Olivia Trinka missed the game on Tuesday night and remain in doubt.
Warners Bay will be missing some key personnel as well, including enigmatic attacker Adriana Jones, who sealed their last-ditch 3-3 draw with Merewether last weekend.
Jones and Maddie Smith are both unavailable and fleet-footed Sass Seaborn, who has been a standout this season, is in doubt with a hamstring injury.
When the two sides met in the first round Rosebud were convincing 5-1 winners but Warners Bay have shown plenty of improvement since.
Warners Bay coach Leon Davis said they would need to contain Jets striker Rhali Dobson, who is on fire for Rosebud. Dobson has scored nine goals this season, including a hat-trick last weekend against Wallsend.
“I just want them to put in a 100 per cent performance because if we do that we’ll create chances, then it is just a matter of whether we finish,” Davis said.
“So the main thing will be is containing them and finishing the majority of our chances. The bottom line is we’re a much better side than we were eight weeks ago.”
Mid North Coast v Wallsend
At Taree Zone Field
Sunday, May 15, 2.15pm
Last start: Mid North Coast drew 1-1 with South Wallsend on Sunday; Wallsend defeated South Wallsend 4-1 last night.
Last time they met: Wallsend defeated Mid North Coast 6-0.
Position on ladder: Wallsend second (15); Mid North Coast last (2).
Wallsend rebounded from their first loss of the season by beating South Wallsend 4-1 last night and improving to second place on the league ladder.
Adamstown proved too good for Wallsend last weekend, winning 6-2 to end the Red Devils’ undefeated start to the season.
But Wallsend coach Marc Hingston felt they redeemed themselves last night and was now issuing his side the challenge of backing up the effort with another strong performance.
“We had a meeting before the game and talked about the culture of the club and more things away from football and sorted that out and it’s amazing what a difference a few days makes,” Hingston said.
“We created a lot of chances and held possession for the most part, now we need to work on being more consistent and being able to put two good games together.
“But it is always hard at Taree and after last time they will probably feel like they have got something to prove.”
Mid North Coast coach Matt Baker said he would not revisit the six-goal loss in round one as they prepare for this match.
“It is what it is; I think the girls will definitely go out with a better attitude this time,” Baker said.
“The biggest thing we talked about after that game was about being individually better than the person you are up against.
“That will be the focus this week, on the individual challenges they have themselves and if we compete with our opposition numbers then we will give ourselves a chance.”
Thornton v Merewether
Sunday, May 15, 2.15pm
At Thornton Park
Last start: Thornton beat Mid North Coast 4-0 in round eight; Merewether lost 4-2 to Adamstown on Tuesday night.
Last time they met: Merewether outclassed Thornton 7-0.
Position on ladder: Merewether third (14), Thornton fifth (6).
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen was focusing on the positives as they prepared for this weekend’s clash with Thornton in the wake of two disappointing results.
The defending champions drew 3-3 with Warners Bay last Sunday after holding a two-goal lead with just minutes remaining in the game, then they sustained a 4-2 loss to unbeaten league leaders Adamstown on Tuesday night.
“We can take some positives away from the game,” Koppen said. “I think we played very, very well. I think we probably proved with the way we played that we are one of the strongest teams in the competition.
“We had 60/70 per cent of possession and they probably had about six or seven chances and scored four whereas we had a heap of shots hit the top of the netting, ones that on any other day would have gone in.
“I can’t be too disappointed because we played very well; we played a beautiful passing game.”
This match will be the third in eight days for Merewether, who will be without key players Jane McDonald (unavailability) and Leticia Quinlan (injury).
Thornton on the other hand have not played in a fortnight after having the bye last weekend and coach Alan Primmer hoped it had not thrown off their momentum after beating Mid North Coast in their last outing.
Primmer expected Merewether to “be hurting” after their mid-week loss and said “the important thing is not to let them in the game early”.
“The longer we can go without letting them score the better,” he said.
South Wallsend – bye.
Herald WPL Points table: Adamstown 22, Wallsend 15, Merewether 14, Warners Bay 11, Thornton 6, South Wallsend 5, Mid North Coast 2.