MATCH OF THE ROUND
Woongarrah v Kanwal
The local Derby between Woongarrah and Kanwal is your BPL Round 3 Match of the Round. Both sides will be in search of their first points of the season and it does not get a bigger match for these two sides.
Woongarrah clashed with Kanwal in the first and last round of the 2020 BPL season and it was The Wildcats who came out on top both times (5-1,5-4). Woongarrah has had a far from ideal start to the season after going down in the opening round 3-1 against Avoca and then seeing defeat again in Round 2 losing 4-2 to Terrigal. The Wildcats will play their first home game this weekend and will be expecting a very big turnout for the derby like usual. Wildcats coach Luke Rogers knows how big of an occasion this match is. “I’m looking forward to the derby as it’s the biggest on the coast. It’s always a big crowd in attendance and both clubs are always up for it.”
Rogers also knows how much a win will mean for the club and his squad going forward but knows it’s never an easy test when his side faces Kanwal. “I haven’t seen anything of Kanwal this year but from what I’ve heard they are a good young side and I’m expecting this to be the best Kanwal side we have faced.”
As for Kanwal, their first match of the year saw them lead against Killarney 3-1 with less than 10 minutes to go before Killarney finished strong with 3 goals to win the match 4-3. Kanwal lost two of their most experienced players during that game as both Ryan Walker and Jason Cozens saw red cards. Walker’s suspension is over and will be back for the derby this weekend but unfortunately for striker Jason Cozens, he will still be on the sideline again this weekend. Kanwal faced another hard test in round 2 as they fell short to The Entrance 2-0.
A win this weekend for the Bulls away from home against their rivals will be a confidence boost for this young Kanwal side. Kanwal will hope they can get back to scoring ways this weekend after failing to back up round 1’s three goals, as they remained scoreless in round 2. The Bulls will hope they can gain bragging rights over their rivals until the two sides face again in round 12.
Avoca v Terrigal
Undefeated Avoca will battle another unbeaten side in BPL favourites Terrigal at Erina High School.
Avoca has been making waves amongst the BPL after their very impressive opening 2 rounds. In their opening game, Avoca beat 2019 Grand Finalist Woongarrah 3-1 and then went on to follow that up with an emphatic 7-1 win over Wyoming in Round 2. Neal Hide’s young side will face their biggest challenge yet this week as they welcome Terrigal to Erina High School. Avoca was on the losing end to Terrigal twice last year (4-1,2-0), but confidence in this year’s Avoca side will be running high as they look for a win to remain top of the table.
Martyn Griffiths and his Terrigal side are coming off a MATE Association Cup Grand Final win beating Killarney 4-2 in extra time. Having played 120 minutes on the weekend, this may be an advantage for Avoca coming into the game, but if there is one team that has plenty of depth it’s Terrigal. Terrigal’s defence may be the only thing that will let them down this year as they continue to leak goals, having conceded 5 goals in their last 3 games which is far from ideal for Martyn.
Wyoming v Southern & Ettalong
Wyoming faces another hard test in Round 3 as The Tigers look for their first win of the year against Southern & Ettalong.
Despite being in 9th place on the ladder, it is only very early days and a win for Wyoming could turn their whole season around. With that being said, BPL is only a 10-team 18-game competition this year so another loss this weekend puts some challenges on the club in their goal of playing finals football. They will be without key defender Kaelan Burke after he saw red in the first half in their round 2 game against Avoca.
Southern kicked their year off with style, beating newly promoted Kariong 8-1. However, Dale Eggleton’s side could not back that win up against Berkeley as the two sides split the points in Round 2 after a 1-all draw. Southern fell short to Wyoming last year in their only match (1-0). Southern has been dealing with a few injuries so the weekend off may have been exactly what their squad needed as they look to go back to winning ways at Alan Davidson Park.
Berkeley Vale v Killarney
In a battle of two BPL heavyweights, Berkeley Vale welcome 5-time League Champions Killarney to Mingara Oval this Sunday.
Berkeley started their year off with a comeback victory at home against Wyoming (4-2) before walking away with just 1 point against Southern in round 2. A result that coach Mark Pratt feels was tough to take, as his side was turned down for a penalty late in the game. Berkeley has quite a different squad this year bringing in over 25 new players along with the late recruitments of Liam Odell and Bailey Garland from NPL in Newcastle. A win this week over the defending champions could go a long way for this new look Wombat side.
Killarney District will play their first BPL game away from home this weekend. The Terriers came back from being 2-0 down to take Terrigal into extra time in the MATE Association Cup Grand Final before conceding another 2 goals in extra time to eventually fall to Terrigal 4-2. Killarney have now conceded 9 goals in their last 300 minutes of play, something coach Chris Ackerley knows his side desperately need to improve on. Killarney only faced the Wombats once in the 2020 season as both sides walked away with a point after a controversial 2-2 draw.
Kariong v The Entrance
Kariong will look to pick up their first-ever BPL win in front of a home crowd as they face The Entrance in round 3.
Kariong had a very disappointing start to the season, conceding 8 goals to Southern in their debut BPL match. The Cougars went ahead in their 2nd round clash against Killarney before eventually going down 4-2 to the Terriers. Despite these losses, Mark Owen’s Kariong side are only gaining confidence and momentum as his squad gets accustomed to the standard and pace of BPL, but the challenge will not get much easier this week as they welcome last year’s semi-finalist’s to Kariong Oval.
The Entrance faced a tough challenge in round 1 as they hosted BPL favourites Terrigal and came up short on the day 2-1. Round 2 saw The Entrance face a depleted Kanwal squad as they walked away with a convincing 2-0 win. Another win this weekend for the new look side could set them up nicely for the year as they look to challenge in BPL once again this year and play finals football. These two sides have never faced each other in any competition so a lot will be unknown between the players heading into this weekend clash.
Written by Adam Blunden.