MATCH OF THE ROUND
Avoca v Kanwal
BPL Round 5 Match of the Round sees Avoca looking to get back to winning ways after their tremendous opening 2 rounds and will look to do so against a struggling Kanwal side who are still in search of their opening points.
Avoca started the year like a house on fire and after 2 rounds they had the best attack in the league, scoring 10 goals in 2 games. Since then, the Sharks have not been able to find the back of the net going down to Terrigal (3-0) and Southern (5-0). Avoca coach Neal Hide has a very young squad, so consistency was always going to be hard to find. Avoca came out second best when they faced Kanwal last year with a 2-1 loss.
Neal is aware of the threat Kanwal poses as they also having a very young and hungry squad. “As ever with Kanwal, I’m expecting a very tough contest as both teams need points to kick-start their seasons. It should be an open, attacking match between two young sides who want to start fulfilling their potential.”
In the last 3 weeks, Kanwal has been trailing to their opposition 2-0 at half time, something coach Ryan Walker is very aware off and something his team needs to be a lot better at. Kanwal failed to get on the scoresheet last week and that’s the second occurrence in just 4 games where the Bulls have remained scoreless in a game.
Walker is anticipating a very tight game as he hopes his squad can walk away with their first win of the year. “I’m expecting a good game that I believe will be very close. I think the main battle will take place in the middle of the park as both teams will want to win the midfield to control the tempo, although ultimately the winner of the game will be the team that converts their chances. Hoping to come out with a stronger start to the game than we have in previous weeks.”
Terrigal v Kariong
It’s a battle of first against last this weekend as league leaders Terrigal will host BPL newcomers Kariong who are still in search of their initial BPL points.
Not many are surprised to see Terrigal in the position they are in thus far this season as they maintain their perfect start to the season overall 3 grades, a truly remarkable achievement after 4 rounds. There were lots of talk about Terrigal’s defence possibly being their downfall this year but after back-to-back clean sheets, Martyn Griffiths Terrigal side boasts the best defence in BPL, having only conceded 3 goals against them after 4 rounds. Terrigal will be full of confidence heading into their clash in front of a home crowd against Kariong.
It seems like Kariong have been getting closer and closer each week as they look to get their season off and running with their first points, but the test does not come any easier as they face BPL competition leaders. Kariong has lost both of their last 2 games by only 1 goal, and the Cougars side feels like on any other given day the result could have been theirs. The Cougars defence finds themselves on the other end to Terrigal for goals conceded as they head into round 5 with the most goals against (17). Kariong faced this Terrigal outfit in the Mate Association Cup and came out second best after a 7-0 loss but will be hoping for a fast start against the O’lads come Sunday.
Wyoming v The Entrance
Both Wyoming and The Entrance will look to bounce back after disappointing losses in round 4 as the Tigers host the Eagles at Alan Davidson on Sunday.
After a tremendous performance from the Wyoming outfit in round 3 who beat Southern 3-0, Ian McAndrew’s side could not back that up as they went down to Killarney 4-2 a week later. Wyoming has conceded 15 goals in the opening 4 rounds which is the 2nd worst in BPL so far. A win this weekend over The Entrance would put them on equal points with last year’s semi-finalist. Coach Ian McAndrew will welcome himself back into the squad this weekend after sitting himself out last round and will look to spark his magic again as he did against Southern.
So far this season The Entrance have secured wins over the bottom 2 teams while recording losses against the top 2 teams, so a lot is unknown of how good this new-look Entrance side is. The Entrance have scored the least number of goals in the BPL competition along with Kanwal after 4 rounds, having only scored 5 goals in 4 games. The Entrance drew 2-2 with Wyoming on their only fixture against the Tigers last year but anything less than a win this weekend will be disappointing as they look to get back to winning ways and solidify their spot within the top of this year’s BPL competition.
Southern & Ettalong v Killarney
Southern will be full of confidence coming off their best performance of the year but face the ever so dangerous Killarney in their round 5 fixture.
Southern put in an almost perfect showing last weekend as they beat Avoca 5-0 in a very one-sided match. Dale Eggleton’s attack has scored the most out of any other club thus far with 14 goals in 4 games, but their opposition Killarney is just behind them with 13 goals. Southern could not get the best of last year’s League Champions on their only instance going down 3-2 in a tight affair. Southern will look to pick up their first back-to-back wins of the year with a statement win over BPL heavyweights Killarney.
It may seem like Killarney are going through a rebuilding stage as they say goodbye to multiple first graders who have help them be so dominant over the years, but with the amount of squad depth and quality Killarney has, it’s hard to ever count them out. Killarney will be looking to keep pressure on Terrigal and Berkeley who sit above them on the ladder with another win this weekend. Although having won 3 out of 4 games, questions are being asked about Killarney’s backline who are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
Berkeley Vale v Woongarrah
Berkeley Vale welcome Woongarrah to Mingara for their round 5 clash, as the Wombats look to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive.
Mark Pratt’s Berkeley Vale squad are coming off what was said to be their best performance so far this year after a 3-0 win over the Entrance saw Berkeley keep a clean sheet for the first time this season. Berkeley remains only 1 of 2 teams who are yet to see defeat thus far and will be looking to keep within touching distance of Terrigal who currently are the only team that sits above them on the ladder. Mark Pratt’s new squad seems to be finding their groove and will be a tough challenge for any team in the competition.
After disappointing losses in the opening 2 rounds, Luke Roger’s Wildcats have turned things around and will look to make it 3 wins in a row this weekend. Roger’s side has scored in every game so far this season but are coming up against statically the 2nd best defence in the league. Also, Woongarrah is yet to keep a clean sheet having conceded 2 or more goals in all their games this year. Roger’s will be hoping his side and tighten up defensively while continuing their goal scoring form.
Written by Adam Blunden.