MATCH OF THE ROUND
Wyoming v Kanwal
Round 8 BPL Match of the Round between Wyoming and Kanwal is a massive day for both clubs which are only separated by 3 Club Championship points.
Wyoming put up a very courageous effort against top of the table Terrigal last weekend as the injury-riddled Wyoming side went down 2-0 on that day. With constant injuries, Ian McAndrews young Wyoming side are yet to reach their full potential as they currently sit with on 4 points alongside this weekend opposition Kanwal. Wyoming has a chance to turn their season around as they face the bottom two teams in upcoming weeks and two wins would go a massive way for McAndrew’s youthful side.
Ian understands how much a win in all 3 grades could go for his club but knows Kanwal will be no easy test. “This game will be hard-fought. Ryan Walker will have Kanwal set up well and they are a very difficult side to break down at their home ground. I think they have been very close in a lot of their games by reading their match reports, so we will have to be on our game to go up there and get points in all grades. Hopefully, we will get a few players back this weekend and it will just be about building on the performance from the weekend which saw a lot of my players stand up and push the best team in the league. There is a long way to go in this season and if we can build some consistency in our performance, we will see results turn around.”
Since getting their initial win of the season in round 6 over Kariong (1-0), Ryan Walker’s Kanwal side back that up with another great performance as they split points will 2nd place Berkeley Vale in a 1-1 draw that Walker felt like his side were unlucky not to take all 3 points. The win over Kariong may have been just what this Bulls side needed as they now look to continue their great form in front of a home crowd come Sunday. Walker says he is anticipating a very fast-paced match-up this weekend against a Wyoming side he does not know a whole lot about.
“I am expecting the game to be a very end-to-end contest played at a very fast past, I don’t know a lot about Wyoming other than that they have a young squad which is very similar to ours. The Bulls season so far has not been as strong as I would have liked, although we have now started to hit our stride and are hoping to continue that form into this weekend.”
Terrigal v Southern & Ettalong
Fierce BPL rivals Terrigal and Southern & Ettalong are set to battle at Duffy’s Oval as SEU look to hand Terrigal their first loss of the year.
Terrigal currently sits on top of the BPL ladder after a perfect 7 from 7 start to the season. The O’lads not only boast the best-attacking record in the competition with 23 goals but also record the least number of goals so far this year having only conceded 4 goals after 7 games. Terrigal picked up their 5th clean sheet last weekend against Wyoming and will look to go 3 consecutive games without conceding a goal with another clean sheet victory over Southern this weekend. Daniel Bird will look to get back to his goal-scoring ways for Terrigal this weekend as he currently is only 1 goal behind Golden Boot leader Ethan Hall.
Southern is coming off their 3rd game this year where they have won by 5 or more goals but in their last 2 away games, Dale Eggleton’s side have been held scoreless in losses to Wyoming (3-0) and The Entrance (2-0). Southern have only recorded 1 win away from home and that came all the way back in round 1 against Kariong. Although these two sides met earlier in the year in the Mate Association Cup Semi-Final and on that instance, Terrigal came out victorious 3-1, although Southern did lead that match 1-0 and look the better side in the majority of the first half.
Killarney v Woongarrah
In a rematch of the 2019 BPL Grand Final, Killarney will welcome Woongarrah to Edsaac Field for their round 8 clash.
Killarney faced Woongarrah twice in last years shortened season and came out victorious on both occasions over the Wildcats (2-1, 3-1) but Killarney are still yet to keep a clean sheet this year after the opening 7 games as they boast the worst defensive record amongst the top 5 of the BPL ladder with 14 goals against. The Terriers will feel hard done by not being on a 2-game winning streak after conceding 2 goals from two penalty calls against rivals The Entrance last week in a result that ended 2-2. Killarney have the current Golden Boot leader Ethan Hall in their arsenal, who will look to get back on the scoresheet this weekend and cement his sides spot within the top 4.
Woongarrah is coming off their biggest loss of the season as the Wildcats lost 6-1 to Southern & Ettalong this past weekend. Luke Rogers Woongarrah side has still only picked up points against the bottom 3 opposition in Wyoming (1-1), Kanwal (4-2) and Kariong (3-2). Woongarrah much like their opponents have failed to record a clean sheet all year. Woongarrah will need a win this weekend if they want to have any chance of playing finals football and what better way to start than with a win over last year’s League Champions.
Berkeley Vale v Kariong
Berkeley Vale will be looking to get back to winning ways against a Kariong side desperate for their first points of the season.
A win for Berkeley Vale this weekend, who currently sit alone in 2nd place on 14 points, will help solidify their finals spot but a loss could see them drop out of the bottom 4 and possibly as low as 6th place. Berkeley have failed to win a game since round 5 as they have picked up a loss to Terrigal (4-0) and a draw to Kanwal (1-1) last week. Mark Pratt’s side will be without enforcer Damien Lobb this weekend after he was shown a red card in his last game, but Mark’s side should enter the fixture full of confidence after beating this Kariong side earlier in the year when they faced in the Mate Association Cup.
Kariong could not hold onto their lead against Avoca last weekend as the Cougars eventually fell 4-3 to the Sharks. This is Kariong’s 3rd game they have only lost by a single goal, and you would think their opening points of the year will be close. Kariong will also have a player on the sideline through suspension as Bradley Bowers was also shown red last weekend. Although Kariong has recorded the highest number of goals conceded throughout the BPL competition this year, their opponents have the least number of goals within the top 4 having only scored 12 goals so far this year, so expect a very close contest at Mingara come Sunday.
Avoca v The Entrance
Only 1 point separates Avoca and The Entrance after the opening 7 rounds, a win for either club would go a long way in the hopes of playing finals football.
Although it’s an Avoca home game this weekend, this fixture is scheduled to be played at the home of Central Coast Football, Pluim Park. Avoca have only won 1 game away from home this year and that was all the way back in round 2 against Wyoming, since then the Sharks have played two away fixtures and have lost by a total of 10-1, so questions will be asked of how good this Avoca side truly is away from home this weekend as they look to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since the opening 2 rounds.
The Entrance will feel lucky they were able to walk away with points in their round 7 fixture against Killarney (2-2) after the Reddies showed a very subpar performance against the Terriers. The Entrance will be looking to turn that performance around with a win that would give them some breathing space in the top 5 as they search to play finals football for a consecutive year. The Entrance faced Avoca twice last year but could only get the best of Neal Hide’s side once picking up 1 win (3-1) and 1 loss (3-2). The Entrance will be hoping for a dominant scoring performance as they currently boast the least number of goals amongst the top 7 teams with 11 goals from 7 games. Despite the lack of goals, The Reddies have scored in all but 1 match this year which just so happened to be at Pluim Park.
Written by Adam Blunden.