Friday, August 27, 2010

Close games expected as finals commence

Tilford Zebras will be without star striker Ben Crosswell for the match against Burnie United at KGV Park on Saturday at 2pm in the State-wide top-four finals series.

Crosswell is unavailable and will be sorely missed by the home side as he has scored 14 goals in the league this season, making him the southern competition’s second-ranked marksman.

Matt Hall is likely to come into the starting line-up but will not necessarily play in attack. He is likely to play in his normal midfield position.

Dwayne Walsh, Zebras’ other recognised striker is under an injury cloud and will need to pass a fitness test this afternoon before he is available for selection.

“I think Burnie will be physical,” said Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani. “They did well against Glenorchy Knights earlier in the year.

“We’re not too worried, though, if we go out there and play the game I know the boys can play. I don’t think we’ll have any problems.

“It’ll be a tough game, though, and we expect them to come out nice and hard.

“We had a good training session last night in the rain, so we’ll be pumped for tomorrow’s game.”

Burnie beat Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park earlier this year in a Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy match and know the venue well.

They cannot be underestimated and, with players of the calibre of Sam Cocks, Adrian Scolyer and Andrew Wright in their line-up, they will give Zebra a run for their money.

The danger for Zebras is complacency, and if they are not at their best, they could be bundled out of this finals series.

South Hobart have swept all before them this season and are in line for their fifth piece of silverware this season if they win this series.

They face fourth-placed northerners Riverside Olympic on a heavy pitch at South Hobart on Saturday at 2pm.

Defender Daniel Brown and midfielder Shae Hickey are the only doubtful starters as both are carrying injuries.

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said there was some pressure on his players as they have gone 30 games without defeat and a clean sweep of trophies was in sight, but he felt they were up to it.

He said they had weathered such pressure in the past and come from behind in some games so he was confident they would do well against Riverside.

He acknowledged Riverside were a good outfit and played attractive football, but he said South had weathered some huge storms this season and that his players were good enough to come through Saturday’s game with a win.

Northern Premier League champions Northern Rangers entertain fourth-placed southerners Clarence United at the NTCA Ground on Saturday at 2pm and this should be a close match.

Clarence showed last week what they are capable of when they almost toppled South Hobart, coming back strongly in the second half and almost snatching victory.

Rangers have won back-to-back northern titles and will be keen to win this finals series and this match may well require extra-time and penalties to decide the outcome.

The remaining game is at Valley Road on Saturday at 2pm, where Devonport City welcome Glenorchy Knights.

Both sides have been inconsistent, but home-ground advantage may just favour Devonport.


Anonymous said...

Nice article Walter, although I can't help but notice the magnitude you spoke of Zebras and South Hobart, yet spoke only about two sentences with nothing really said at all about the Clarence and Glenorchy games. Would be nice to know some more news (i.e potential, coaches views as per previous paragraphs etc) about those two matches Good luck to all teams this weekend.

Anonymous said...

South 4-0
Burnie 2-1
Knights 2-0
and Rangers 3-0 for me.

rumour has it browny has had a falling out with cripps and he's not going north.

Maybe cripps for div 2 again next year! clarence to struggle without his leadership and presence up front.

South too strong for everyone again, should win this piece of silverware this year.

Rangers/ south would be a great final, hopefully its at KGV.

Good luck to all this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well done walter another great cover of what should be 4 great games this week.
South 2-1
burnie 3-1
Dev 1-0
Clarence 2-1
Good luck all.

Anonymous said...

Cripps needs to score goals to stay on the right side. Was last year a abberation? Clarence were a better team this year despite him kicking 15 or so goals less.

Anonymous said...

Clarence a better side this year???? Wouldn't have thought so.

Remaining silver:

South to win final series

Roach or Self or Mckeown to win Vic Tuting

Golden boot already decided - Lo

Morton to win Coach of year.

Anonymous said...

Clarence is definately stronger this year. The seniors have finished where their list dictates in my opinion. The difference this year is that a very select few THINK they are better than they are and behave accordingly. someone said earlier that "without leadership and presence up front they wont win" well i hope your not referring to cripps because his leadership has been non existant and barron is a much bigger presence than cripps at the moment. And lets face it, if Ben Hamlett was playing in the cup final Clarence would have won that game. South defence would never have coped with two quick players, they struggled with one!

Anonymous said...

not surprised to hear only one team from the South left after week 1, and that is of course South Hobart. NPL far superior once again