MATCH OF THE ROUND
Woongarrah v Avoca
Woongarrah and Avoca are set to do battle this Sunday for the Round 10 BPL Match of the Round.
The Wildcats are coming off their biggest win of the year after they defeated The Entrance 4-1 in round 9. The weekend before, Woongarrah managed to salvage a point against last year League Champion Killarney in a 1-1 draw that saw them a player down. Captain Chris Gavin will be back from suspension for this weekend’s game as Woongarrah look to catch up with the rest of the competition as they currently only sit 4 points behind 4th place. Woongarrah will play host the opposition at their home ground Hamlyn Terrace where they are yet to lose a game this season. Hamlyn Terrace over the years has always served as a fortress for the Wildcats and Luke Rogers’ will be hoping his side can pick up their first clean sheet this season.
As always, Rogers’ is expecting a very tight battle against Avoca and admits his side must be at their best this weekend. “Since Neil has been in charge at Avoca, it’s always been a close contest. Over the last few years, we have gone into this game as favourites but with the way Avoca are playing, also sitting higher than us on the table, we go into this match as clear underdogs. We are going to have to be at our best if we are to take anything away from this encounter.”
Avoca shocked a lot of people at the start of the year and all that started with their opening 3-1 over Woongarrah in round 1. The Sharks took a 3-goal lead on that occasion before Woongarrah was able to pull back a consolation goal. Avoca are only 1 of 2 teams (Terrigal) who have been able to score 3 or more goals against this Woongarrah outfit. Avoca is currently sitting above Woongarrah on the BPL ladder, but a loss would see the Wildcats jump to equal points. Avoca will also be on the lookout for their first clean sheet of the year and their first win since round 7 after picking up 2 draws in recent weeks.
“Looking forward to playing Luke’s lads this weekend, they are always competitive and high-quality matches against Woongarrah. We’re expecting a better performance from them when compared to the first round, when they were probably a little ‘underdone’, with all the rain disruptions pre-season. However, we’re improving too, as the season progresses, so it should be a close match.” Stated Avoca coach Neal Hide.
Southern & Ettalong v Kariong
Southern & Ettalong will be out to repeat their first-round performance against Kariong as the Lions look to retain their top 3 spot.
Southern managed to put in their most dominant performance so far this year against Kariong all the way back in round 1 when Southern walked away from Kariong Oval with an 8-1 win. On that day, Keith Gumbs scored a hattrick to open his goal-scoring account, since then Gumbs hasn’t managed to score more than 1 goal in a game. After throwing away a 2-0 lead last weekend before eventually beating Kanwal 3-2, Southern will be looking for their first back-to-back wins since round 4 and 5. Southern will welcome back Jack Elwood from suspension but will see key player Michael Tawyer on the sidelines after he received a red card last weekend. Keith Gumbs is currently only 2 goals behind in the golden boot race so expect him to try and repeat his hattrick this Sunday in front of a lively home crowd.
At the halfway mark of the competition, Kariong have had a disappointing opening BPL campaign as they still remain pointless in First Grade and find themselves on the bottom of the club championship. Kariong are in desperate need of crucial club championship points if they want to be playing BPL football again next year. Much like Kanwal, 1 win can kickstart their whole season and the Cougars will be hoping that they can have success this weekend at the very tough James Browne Oval.
Terrigal v The Entrance
Terrigal dropped points for the first time this season last weekend and will look to get back to winning ways as they face The Entrance at Duffy’s Oval.
Round 10 will test the character of Martyn Griffiths Terrigal side who dropped points for the first time all year against Killarney last Saturday at Pluim Park. The O’lads have been the team to beat this season as they are the only team to not concede double-digit goals at the halfway mark of the season, conceding only 7 goals total in 9 games. 2-time BPL Player of the Year Stuart Adams has been a standout for Terrigal this year and after last weekend now joins Ethan Hall on top of the Golden Boot race as they both share 8 goals. Terrigal was able to beat The Entrance 2-1 at the start of the season, this will give Terrigal plenty of confidence which will make them even harder to beat in front of a home crowd at Duffy’s Oval
After being a goal up last weekend over Woongarrah, four straight goals saw The Entrance take their biggest loss of the season in a 4-1 defeat. This was The Entrance’s first loss to a bottom 4 placed team. The Reddies are now winless in their last 3 games as they split the points with Avoca and Killarney in the previous 2 rounds. The challenge will not get any easy for Matt Page and his side who have the tough task of taking points off the undefeated side. Away from home for the third straight week, The Entrance will look to be the first team to keep the O’lads scoreless as The Entrance search for their first clean sheet since round 6. The Entrance are the only team in the competition that hasn’t scored over 2 goals in a single game this year, if they can get a win this weekend like they beat Terrigal on their second fixture last year, it will go a long way for the hopes of playing finals
Kanwal v Killarney
Kanwal will be looking to right their wrongs of the first round as they welcome Killarney to Wadalba Sports Complex for round 10.
Kanwal had a golden opportunity to start their season off on the right foot when they played Killarney in round 1 and found themselves 3-1 up with less than 10 minutes to go. 2 red cards to the Bulls and 3 quick goals to Killarney saw Kanwal leave Edsaac Field disappointed knowing they could have won that game. It took Ryan Walker and his side all the way to round 6 to get their initial win, a 1-0 result over Kariong. The Bulls then found some form defeating Wyoming and having a draw with Berkeley Vale before losing by 1 goal last weekend to Southern. Despite their loss, Kanwal should enter this match with plenty of confidence knowing they can and have taken it to this Killarney side before.
After last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Terrigal, Killarney have now split the points in their last 3 fixtures as they sit in unfamiliar territory in 4th place on 15 points. The Terriers will once again be on the lookout for their first clean sheet this season. After being the only team to successfully take points off league leaders Terrigal, Killarney should be full of confidence ahead of their trip to Wadalba Sports Complex. Current BPL Golden Boot leader Ethan Hall has not been able to find the scoresheet in the last 3 games as he remains on 8 goals in total, he will be hoping to break this streak along with helping his side pick up a crucial 3 points this Sunday.
Wyoming v Berkeley Vale
Wyoming will look to pick up their first back-to-back wins of the year as they host 2nd place, Berkeley Vale, this Sunday.
Wyoming is coming off their biggest win as a club this season as they were able to defeat Kariong in all 3 grades last weekend. Now Wyoming only remains 2 club championship points behind Kanwal and will look to consolidate their position. Wyoming took a 2-1 lead over the Wombats when they met in round 1 but 3 unanswered goals saw Ian McAndrew and his side walked away from Mingara with zero points. Wyoming will be searching for another crucial win this weekend in front of a home crowd that they have only won once in front of this year. In their previous 2 home fixtures, Wyoming have not recorded a single goal while both of their wins this year have involved clean sheets and for a young Wyoming side, that will be the challenge again this weekend.
Berkeley Vale finds themselves currently in 2nd place after 9 rounds this season with their only loss of the year coming at the hands of Terrigal. Mark Pratt and his Berkeley Vale side had the best defensive record for the 2020 BPL season, but this year the Wombats have only gone 2 games without a goal scored against them. Jakeb Brownlow, who was a late addition to their squad has only played 2 games for Mark Pratt but the attacker has managed to get his name on the scoresheet on both appearances as he will look to carry his great run of form into the weekend and help his side come away from Alan Davidson with the 3 points.
Written by Adam Blunden.