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Terrigal v Southern & Ettalong

Fierce rivals Terrigal and Southern & Ettalong are set to battle it out this Sunday in the Round 8 Match of the Round.

After a less than ideal start to the year for Martyn Griffiths and his squad, the O’lads have done an exceptional job to turn things around in recent weeks as it all seems to be coming together nicely for this Terrigal side. After failing to score in their round five loss to Kanwal (1-0), the O’lads have scored a massive total of nine goals in their previous two games. Midfield maestro Stuart Adams leads the scoring for Terrigal with four goals and is followed closely by Mahkye Brownlie (3) who seems to be finding his feet at his new club.

Martyn Griffiths spoke about how hard it has been for his team to get into a groove with all the wet weather and field closures and how they don’t have the luxury of other clubs in the BPL. “With all this rain and having spoken to my good friend Dale this morning, it’s just a case of where and when we can play games these days. We haven’t had the luxury of title favourites Killarney of having three pitches to train and play on, so one grass pitch is all we ask for.”

Griffiths knows it’s always a tough battle against Southern and anticipates nothing less come Sunday. “I’m expecting another tight game against Southern who sit two points behind us and both sides will be looking at obtaining the three points to keep in touch with Killarney, Kanwal, and Berkeley. We have played well the last two games and need to keep the impetus going, even if this means playing away from Duffy’s.”

The story for Southern & Ettalong in recent years once again seems to be living up to their 2022 campaign. That story is that Southern always competes and gets results from the teams at the higher end of the competition but always seems to struggle and drop points against the teams that they, on paper, should beat. At the end of the day anything can happen on a football pitch but with the quality that this Southern team possess, they should be challenging for a title at the end of the year.

Dale Eggleton also spoke on how disruptive the wet weather has been for his side. “With the continual wet weather, it has been challenging to prepare for games and work on parts of our game that need to be improved. Add to this the frustration of the postponement of our game against Wyoming last week minutes before kick-off. The player’s attitude has been good since our last game against The Entrance, and we are looking forward to resuming the competitive rivalry we have had with Terrigal over the last four seasons.”

Eggleton is hopeful his team can get back to winning ways as long as they fight for the entire match.  “They are always a tough challenge, mainly because they play at a high level for ninety minutes plus and that will be the main focus for us, concentrating for the entire game and executing better than our last two performances against Kariong and The Entrance”

The Entrance v Avoca

Avoca will be determined to jump The Entrance on the table if they can secure a win against a confident Entrance side coming off their first win of the year.

The Entrance, marshalled by Patrick Zwaanswijk and Josh Rosh, was able to pick up the initial win of the season in round 7 when the Reddies welcome Kariong to Pat Morley. The young Entrance side got off to a fantastic start and found themselves with a two-goal lead after just twenty minutes. This was the first time this Entrance side has led on the scoresheet in any of their games this season.

Leading into that match up, Zwaanswijk and Rose knew how important it was to start on the right foot instead of it taking their side conceding one or two goals before getting themselves into the game. A huge standout so far this year has been the electrifying and rapid Ashton Hurley who has been instrumental for his side as well as teammate Jack O’Callaghan whose four goals in four games has him tied with three others at the top of the Golden Boot standings. These two will once again play a massive part if the Entrance wants to make it back-to-back come Sunday.

Avoca has opened their season with four of their five games against opposition inside the top five. The one instance was Avoca played another club outside the top five was against Kariong and they successfully picked up their first win of the season. Avoca will be feeling confident that they can repeat that this weekend when they play The Entrance who currently sit in sixth place.

Neal Hide’s Sharks squad will have to be at their best as they face a very confident Entrance team who have only seen defeat once this year in the three times they have played at Pat Morley. Avoca will be disappointed in their efforts from round seven after going up a goal over Kanwal to only concede three straight goals as the Bulls handed Avoca their fourth loss of the season. Avoca will be out to right their wrongs and get back to winning ways come Sunday.

Woongarrah v Killarney

In a rematch of the 2019 BPL First Grade Grand Final, Woongarrah will be determined to upset competition leaders and hand Killarney their first loss of the year.

Since getting their opening win back in round four, Woongarrah is yet to get another win under their belts as they currently sit in seventh place with five points. Woongarrah followed their initial win of the season up with two draws on the trot against The Entrance (2-2) and Wyoming (1-1) and despite finding themselves on the scoresheet three times last weekend, Luke Rogers’s men saw defeat to Terrigal (5-3)

Rogers’s men are yet to keep a clean sheet throughout their opening five fixtures. The closest they got was against Wyoming when they tragically conceded in injury time which allowed Wyoming to walk away with a point. Woongarrah has had the luxury of playing all but one of their fixtures at home as Hamlyn Terrace remains weatherproof throughout this wet weather period. The Wildcats will once again run out in front of a home crowd as they look to send Killarney home with zero points.

Competition leaders and now competition favourites Killarney have been extraordinary to start their 2022 campaign. Killarney currently sits alone on top of the BPL Ladder as the only team with a perfect record, 5 wins and zero losses. To no surprise, Killarney also boasts the best-attacking record in the league with a total of eighteen goals and the best defensive record as the Terriers have only conceded four goals thus far.

Chris Ackerley has done an exceptional job bringing youth into his team to replace his veteran players that have decided to step down for the year ahead. Killarney’s squad depth is evident throughout their team as the Terriers sit inside the top four in all three grades. Killarney defeated the former competition favourites Berkeley Vale last weekend with a 2-0 win but must continue to play at their best week in and week out as the Terriers will find themselves with a large target on their back for the remainder of the year.

Wyoming v Kariong

Wyoming and Kariong who are both desperate to pick up points are set to battle this Sunday at Alan Davidson Oval.

Despite having their 21s and Reserve Grade play in Round Seven, Ian McAndrew’s First Grade side was called off after the wet weather became too much for James Browne Oval. Ian finally welcomed back BPL veteran goal scorer Jared Mcnee to his squad last weekend who has been sidelined due to injury, but Mcnee will not be available again come Sunday as he was shown a red card playing down a grade last week. This will not help McAndrew who has struggled immensely with his squad numbers week in and week out and Wyoming who has only managed to score two goals in their four fixtures this season.

Wyoming has only managed to pick up one point to start their season as they sit at the bottom of the BPL Ladder and in the relegation zone on the Club Championship. The only team that sits below Wyoming on the club championship is their opponent for round eight, Kariong. After being well-rested with a weekend off, McAndrew’s side will be buzzing and raring to go as they are scheduled to be at home for the first time since round four.

Kariong had a year to forget in their inaugural BPL season when the Cougar’s lost every game. Although Kariong has managed to do one better this year when they picked up the first BPL win in history in round five when a ten men Kariong side upset Southern & Ettalong 2-1, the Cougars still remain at the bottom of the Club Championship.

Much like Wyoming, this weekend serves as a great opportunity to take Club Championship points away from their opposition as Kariong look to climb their way out of the relegation zone. This will be in not only the minds of the coaches but also the players who will be putting everything on the line to grab a result this weekend.

Berkeley Vale v Kanwal

Coming off two defeats in a row, Berkeley Vale will look to overcome their normal bogey team and get back to winning ways as they host Kanwal in Round 8.

In a year where many tipped Mark Pratt’s side to go all the way, especially after being crowned the 2022 Association Cup Winners, in recent weeks Berkeley Vale has struggled immensely and has dropped from equal first to third after seeing defeat in their last two fixtures. Their first loss of the year came at the hands of Terrigal (4-2) and then the following week it was Killarney (2-0) who kept the Wombats scoreless for the first time this season. A significant injury toll has definitely not helped Pratt’s side as the injury list grows even higher after their last game.

Troy Mumford was forced to leave last weekend’s clash significant early, and his teammates Alex Burrell and Reece Caira have been off the team sheet for the majority of the season. Unfortunately for Berkeley Vale, the test for them does not get any easier this weekend as they are scheduled to face Kanwal who has a positive win record over the Wombats in recent years. Pratt’s men will be looking past recent statistics as they hope to overcome their slump and get back to winning ways to remain in touch with league leaders Killarney.

Another club that has been extremely unlucky with a significant injury toll is Kanwal. The Bulls have not been at full strength in recent weeks but Ryan Walker and his squad have done an exceptional job filling in these missing pieces. Kanwal will welcome back James Scott who was sidelined due to a suspension that has now been served. Scott boasts plenty of experience as he has been a part of Central Coast United and Edgeworth FC in recent years and if he can play to his ability, he will be a massive factor in Kanwal’s success this year.

Twelve months ago, Ryan Walker and his squad were fighting in a relegation battle, now they are fighting at the top of the competition which is a true credit to the brilliant job he and his staff have done in the offseason. In recent weeks, Kanwal has been slow out of the gates and if they don’t cut this out it could be detrimental against a side of Berkeley Vale’s quality come Sunday.