Friday, April 23, 2010

Burnie and Devonport to continue their battle at the top of Northern ladder

Devonport City may well take over the lead in the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League competition on Saturday from current leaders Burnie United.

The sides are level on 9 points, but Burnie’s excellent goal-difference puts them on top.

But, Burnie have the more difficult assignment this weekend as they are away to reigning champions and third-placed Northern Rangers at the NTCA Ground, while Devonport should have a relatively easily task of disposing of bottom-side Launceston United away at Birch Avenue.

Burnie’s Sam Cocks and Chris Smith are the league’s leading marksmen, however, with 8 goals and 7 goals, respectively, and this sort of firepower is just what is needed to sink Rangers.

It may well be that Burnie retain their top spot ahead of Devonport, but with a reduced margin between the sides in terms of goal-difference.

Devonport will be going for a cricket score, though, and the outcome of this tussle between the two leading sides against weaker opponents should be intriguing.

Third-placed Somerset welcome second-last Launceston City to Cardigan Street and the home side should be the victors.

Fifth-ranked Ulverstone play their fourth away game of the season when they make their second trip in a row to Launceston to take on sixth-placed Prospect Knights at Harley Parade.

“We have had some fantastic battles with the Knights over the last few years and I do not expect this one to be any different,” said Ulverstone coach, Kim Rigby.

“We will be keeping the same eleven players from last week’s 7-0 win over Launceston United, although a few positional changes within the teal are likely.

“We have had a reliance on Brayden Mann to score the majority of our goals, so it was pleasing last week to have four different scorers.

“Will Cox-Haines, who played in all our games last year, had his first run of the season last week and will start again this week and gain some much-needed match fitness.

“Our number one goalkeeper, Chris Smith, continues to look safe at the back, ably supported by the back-three of Brian Tabrett, Dallas Baldock and Ben Hutchinson.

“Our midfield is not totally firing, but a few positional changes last week seemed to help, with Joel Stone and Callan Mann out wide and Adrian and Adam Beard playing in the middle, along with Will Cox-Haines in the holding or support role.

“Our target player, Kyle Baldock, is proving to be a good option alongside Brayden Mann up front.

“Our bench players will be Ben Foote, who is carrying some slight knee soreness, and Jason Singleton, Adrian Foote and second-choice keeper Steve Arthur.”

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