MATCH OF THE ROUND
Southern & Ettalong v Berkeley Vale
Both Southern and Berkeley will look to keep their momentum going with another win this weekend. Southern & Ettalong will host Berkeley Vale at James Browne Oval in the BPL Round 2 Match of the Round fixture.
Southern will look to keep their early hot form going in round 2 after they scored 8 goals in their opening match. Southern coach Dale Eggleton knows how tough the Berkeley side is to break down and is anticipating a close battle come Sunday. “Berkeley was a top 3 side last year and beat us both times we met, they were hard to break down and didn’t concede many goals throughout the season.”
Dale also went on to add, “I have no doubt it will be the same challenge again for us especially when it will be our third game in the first week of competition, I’m sure our boys will be looking forward to the challenge and know that our focus will have to be consistent for the 90 minutes.”
Berkeley Vale got the best of Southern twice last year when the two sides faced (2-1, 3-0). Berkeley got their season off with a 4-2 comeback victory against Wyoming in a game that coach Mark Pratt labelled “A typical first game of the season for both teams who were short on First team regulars”. Berkeley will be without ex A-League player Reece Caira once again this weekend as he is still serving a suspension.
“I always look forward to a game against my old mates Dale, Ollie and Haga. The trip to the peninsula against Southern is always a tough game against a very good side in good early season form. They look to be a well-balanced side this year so it will be a tough test for my young team”.
Wyoming v Avoca
Wyoming will welcome Avoca to Alan Davidson this Sunday for Wyoming’s first home match of the year.
Wyoming will be trying to claim their first 3 points of the season as they let a 2-1 lead slip in round 1 to Berkeley. Wyoming will welcome back 4 first graders to their squad this week which will help coach Ian McAndrew tremendously. Wyoming will look to cut out defensive errors this week as they conceded 2 goals in round 1 from their own mistakes. Wyoming faced the Sharks only once last year, but they came out victorious in a 4-2 win.
Avoca will look to cement their spot as one of the top contenders in BPL this year with another win this weekend, Avoca got the best of Woongarrah in round 1 (3-1). Avoca who has a very young side will only improve as the season goes on as these youngsters will gain more experience. Neal Hide lost several senior players mainly due to retirement, so to get a win round 1 could do wonders for his side’s confidence and even more so if they can back it up with another win this Sunday.
Terrigal v Woongarrah
BPL favourites Terrigal will take on Woongarrah at Duffy’s Oval as they look to get another 3 points in First Grade and possible another 21 to the Club Championship.
Terrigal got their year off with a win at Pat Morley against The Entrance. It has been a very busy off-season for coach Martyn Griffiths and his Terrigal squad who have picked up multiple First-Graders, with 5 or so starters in round 1 who were not in their Grand Final team. Terrigal got the best of Woongarrah last year when they faced, picking up an emphatic 7-2 win. Picking up a great mid-week win in the cup as well, Terrigal will look to mirror this result in front of a home ground come this Sunday.
Woongarrah will be looking for revenge this weekend after Terrigal handed Luke Rogers and his men their biggest loss of the season last year. Woongarrah went down in their first-round clash against Avoca (3-1) and will be itching to get their first 3 points of the season over the 2020 BPL Premiers. Rogers will be looking for consistency over the whole 90 minutes this weekend after conceding 3 goals in the second half last week. Expect a fiery Woongarrah side this weekend.
Kanwal v The Entrance
Kanwal will welcome The Entrance to Wadalba Sports Complex as both sides will be searching for their first win of the season. The Entrance came out on top with their biggest win of the season last year when they faced Kanwal (7-1) and will be searching to do the same against the Bulls this weekend
Kanwal was very unlucky not to walk away from round 1 with 3 first grade points against 5-time league champions Killarney. Kanwal was up 3-1 with less than 10 minutes to go before Killarney put 3 quick goals in to win the game 4-3. Kanwal received 2 red cards in their round 1 match and will be without striker Jason Cozens and also player-coach Ryan Walker. Kanwal had a lot of positives to take away from their round 1 match that they will look to build on come Sunday against the Reddies.
The Entrance put up a tough battle against 2020 BPL Premiers Terrigal in round 1 and were unlucky not to split the points late when they had a flurry of corners. The new-look Entrance side only had 5 starting players from last year’s squad who made the semi-finals. The introduction of new players to a squad always takes time for the players to gel, but The Entrance will be hoping to pick up points in Round 2.
Killarney v Kariong
Front runners in BPL over the last 5 years Killarney will face competition newcomers Kariong who will look to overturn a disappointing first round.
Killarney will play at home for the second round in a row as they look to keep their 100% record. Scoring 3 goals in the last 8 minutes to snatch the victory from Kanwal in round 1, the Terriers will be looking to do things more comfortably come Sunday. Chris Ackerley’s side was involved in a win (3-0) mid-week against Div 1 side Gosford in the Mate Association Cup to put them into the Grand Final. Ackerley will be hoping his side can continue to build confidence as they prepare for Terrigal but can’t look past this weekend’s test.
The start of Kariong’s BPL campaign saw them concede 6 goals within the first half last Sunday. The Cougars will face another big test this weekend as they face BPL heavyweights Killarney. Mark Owen and his squad will be aiming to come out more confident and with a fast start. They will need to match Killarney’s intensity from the first whistle if they want to come away from Edsaac with any points under their belts.
Written by Adam Blunden