Women’s Premier League
Third and Fourth Spot are still up for grabs in the North Coast Hotel Group Women’s Premier League, and three teams are vying for a semi-finals berth with the final round of competition to be played on Saturday.
Coffs United sit in third position on 27 points, and Woolgoolga Wildcats one point behind them on 26 points. Urunga Raiders are in fifth position on 25 points.
The Raiders travel to Coffs in a must win against the Lionnesses. If Urunga lose, they cannot make the semi-finals. If Coffs United lose, they could still make fourth spot, depending on other results.
However, Coffs United are in season-best form following a 2-1 win over Premiers Boambee Eagles last week, and will be tough to beat on home soil. In previous encounters this season, they’ve each won one and most recently shared a 1-1 draw.
In the other deciding game, Woolgoolga travel to Maclean to take on the second placed Bobcats. A win will see Woolgoolga guaranteed of a top four finish, whereas a loss will see them relying on Urunga to lose their match.
Woolgoolga have proven they can beat Maclean this season, winning 3-0 in Round Five. They’ve since lose both other fixtures against the Bobcats.
It’s been a competitive year of football in North Coast Football’s WPL, with the final round proof that there is almost nothing separating the best footballers in the area.
Men’s Premier League
Maclean Bobcats vs Urunga Raiders
Maclean Bobcats face Urunga Raiders for the second time in three weeks, and with far more at stake this time round, the Bobcats will throw everything they can at the Raiders in hope of a top 4 finish.
Currently in fifth position and behind fourth placed Coffs Coast Tigers on goal difference, the Bobcats need to beat Urunga by a margin of five goals, or rely on the Tigers losing to Orara this weekend. Bobcats coach Guiseppe Terranova is focussed on doing what they can and putting themelves in the best position possible for a Semi-Final spot.
“Top Four is out of our hands, it’s a bit difficult because we have to beat Urunga at home, and rely on other results to go our way.”
“But we’re going to go out there and play for what we can; the boys know what’s at stake, and we played well last time around against Urunga, so we’ve got a chance.
In their last encounter, Urunga beat Maclean 2-0, though Maclean were unlucky not to get anything from the match.
I think we were very unlucky to not get anything, we completely dominated the second half and we just couldn’t score that first goal to get the momentum up.”
Guiseppe hinted that Maclean deserve a top four spot, but that several factors this year have caused them to slip down the ladder.
“We’re the only team undefeated at home, and we’ve got some good results against first and third placed teams, where the other sides competing for fourth place have struggled. In a way it’s out of our hands but we’ll do what we can to get there (fourth spot).”
Coffs Coast Tigers vs Orara Valley Dingoes
Coffs Coast Tigers are leading the race for fourth spot, and currently occupy it ahead of Maclean on Goal Difference.
However, standing of their way of a semi-final match-up with Coffs United is Orara Valley, whom they’ve struggled against this year. Orara beat them in the only other fixture this season, winning 1-0 in a closely fought match.
Tigers Coach Jason Snell is confident the Tigers can get something from this game.
“We’re not focussing on the semi-finals just yet. We’ve got a job to do against Orara, and the boys know that. So far this year we’ve been very strong at home, losing only to Urunga and Coffs by narrow scores.”
“Orara are a tough side physically, so we need to look after the ball and play our game that has been working for us this year. As long as we play our game, we can win the match and then start thinking about the semi-finals.”
All Men’s Premier League fixtures will be played at 2pm on Sunday. In other games, Coffs United are gunning for the Premiership and need the three points away to Sawtell Scorpions. Boambee host Northern Storm at Aryshire Park, and Orara Valley play Coffs Coast Tigers at Polwarth Drive.