#1. Women’s football LIVE on BarTV Sports!
It was a wet and tedious weekend due to the rain, but fortunately for the Herald WPL, it cleared up on Sunday meaning all games went ahead, including the first ever BarTV Sports live streamed regular season match.
Newcastle Jets and Matildas injured star Larissa Crummer also featured on commentary and the action on the field didn’t disappoint as Tara Andrews and Lauren Allan both grabbed doubles to secure a 4-1 win over the Red Devils, but honourable mentions must be made to Olivia Kennedy who grabbed a deserving consolation goal and goalkeeper Danielle Redding who kept her side in it for much of the game.
It was a brilliant, sparring affair between New Lambton and Wallsend at Arthur Edden Oval in sunny conditions marking a momentous occasion for women’s football in the region which hopefully will only continue to add to the rise of females participating in the game.
#2. Broadmeadow continue their 20-year Adamstown dominance
The last time the Rosebuds had defeated Broadmeadow in the NPL NNSW league was all the way back in 1999, and although at one point in the game, it looked as though they might finally end the drought, two late goals from Broadmeadow made sure to extend their undefeated streak to 30 straight games.
To Adamstown’s credit, after going down early, they were able to muster a comeback with two goals to former Magicians Ben Higgins and Chris Berlin, but a Mitch Oxborrow deflected free-kick, and then a contentious penalty that was converted by James Virgili broke the home fans’ hearts.
It’s been a tough start to the year for Adamstown as they remain on zero points after the first four games, while Magic move into the top four. When they next meet in Round 15, there’ll be many individuals at Adamstown Oval hoping they can end the streak.
#3. Belswans have still got it
If there were any questions marks whether defending NEWFM Northern League One champions Belmont-Swansea United would still be challenging this season after losing a few key men including Head Coach Josh Rufo, they can surely be swept away after an incredibly strong start to the season.
They’ve not only beaten last year’s Grand Finalists West Wallsend before smashing Wallsend (which unfortunately is my team), but also picked up a big away 3-0 win against a team many predicted to challenge the top, South Cardiff.
New and young players have begun to stamp their mark, including that of David Swain who managed to score a double on the weekend.
There’s been multiple times where Belswans have come close to claiming the premiership in Northern NSW (the most recent being in 2017), but have only actually claimed that honour on three occasions in their club history. According to the history books, 1978 and 1966 were the only years that Belswans have won the premiership in the Second Division, while they also did the same once in the First Division back in 1985.
Could they once again claim that major prize? Time will tell.
#4. Merewether narrowly escape defeat
It’s been a rough beginning to the year for Adamstown in the Herald WPL – they’ve been beaten 9-1, 9-2 and 4-2, and after looking like they might jag the biggest upset of the season so far, Merewether United were able to rip it the victory from underneath them.
After leading 2-1 with around ten minutes to go, goals to Rhali Dobson and Nicki Jones turned the result around, and although it’s unfortunate for the Buds, it’s a tremendous and gusty performance from Merewether to step up when it was really needed.
Losing to Adamstown would have put them in a disappointing position having already lost to New Lambton in the first round of the season, but with that win, they move onto nine points and it’ll give them confidence that even when they don’t play their best, they can still rally together to get the three points.
#5. Clubs begin Cup double-time
Although the rain is affected much of the upcoming match-ups, the FFA Cup Southern Conference has officially entered Round 3 and that means that with the entrance of the NEWFM Northern League One clubs, they’ll all have to back-up their regular weekend matches with mid-week Cup games.
The Southern Conference has already seen some fantastic matches in 2019, and they will hopefully get even better as we see various Zone League clubs (as well as one All Age team) battle against the NEWFM NL1 teams, and in Round 4, the NPL sides.
Juggling both strong results in the league and the FFA Cup will be a difficult task for many of the Premier Competition teams and will be a good test of their depth and nerve going in the next coming weeks.