Friday, March 6, 2009

Zebras favourites to retain Summer Cup crown

Tilford Zebras should beat Clarence United in the Premier League section of the Summer Cup final at KGV Park at 2.30pm on Monday.

Zebras got into the final by the skin of their teeth.

But they did that last season and won the final against the highly-rated South Hobart.

It will be Zebras’ third consecutive Summer Cup final, so they know how to handle the pressure.

This time, they face a relatively inexperienced opponent in Clarence United, who are contesting their first-ever Summer Cup final.

Daniel Lapolla and Henry Fagg return to the Zebras squad to bring it to full strength, while Clarence have an unchanged squad from last week.

“I am extremely pleased that both the seniors and the reserves were able to reach the final of the Summer Cup,” said Clarence coach, Andrew Brown.

“It is a significant achievement for the club, and one that we can and will celebrate at Phoenix Park after the game on Monday.”

History is against Clarence, however.

Zebras and Clarence have met 21 times since 1999. They first met in competition on 1 August that year, with Zebras winning 3-1.

Zebras have won 16 of those 21 games, while Clarence have won just once, with five games ending in draws.

The Zebras’ biggest winning margin was 7-0 in 2002 when, ironically, the Zebras ‘ ‘Mister’ was Franco Previdi.

Previdi is now assistant to Andrew Brown at Clarence.

Last year, Zebras beat Clarence 7-2 and 4-1.

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, Zebras supremo Nick Lapolla makes to his team.

They will have a light training run on Saturday morning and the starting line-up will be finalised then.

He brought in youngsters Brayden Pace and Kurt Engels against New Town Eagles and both played extremely well.

Pace, in fact, scored twice and made one goal as the Zebras won by the required 6-0 margin to reach the final.

He may wish to start with the same line-up and leave Daniel Lapolla and Fagg on the bench.

The game is played with interchange allowed, so he can quickly revert to the tried and true formula and bring on Lapolla and Fagg if things are not working.

“We’re not over confident, but this trophy seems to stick to us,” said Nick Lapolla.

“I’ve watched Clarence play and they’re a good side, so we won’t underestimate them.”

Clarence have a good attack, with Luke Cripps leading the line and the two nippy blond attackers, Chris Hunt and Ben Hamlett, providing the ammunition.

It should be an intriguing final, with Zebras the favourites.

But, anything can happen in a cup final.

In the reserves final at 12.30pm, Clarence United meet Hobart Olympic.

Clarence have been the more impressive side in the group games and won all three of their matches.

This makes them hot favourites to win, so there should be something to celebrate at Phoenix Park at the end of day, even if the senior side doesn’t beat the Zebras.


Neutral said...

Predict Zebras 5-0.

In attack for clarence, cripps and co. not nearly good enough to score against zebras defence.

Will be entertaining match for the first 10 minutes if clarence can hold them out that long.

Captain said...

Bit rough.

Zebras favourites but Clarence deserve more credit given their impressive preliminary round results.

harden up maggots said...

predict clarence 2 nil shall b a gd game clarence deserve the win they have had a tough few years. it is also a big game 4 dwayne walsh playing against his old club!!!!!

reality said...

its been a good start for clarence.
be even better if ressies and seniors win this summer cup.
both will be very hard and good games.
garth #11

harden up maggots said...

in the reserve final clarence will get up 3 nil this is the 3rd straight final 4 clarence and they deserve the win they hav a few new players at the club ANDY BARRON and MASTER BRENDAN GARTH who r a big part of the reserve line up

Dmitri Nester said...

Seems most people are putting their money on clarence in reserves. From the bits I have seen of olympic they are no easy beats, let us not forget they beat a zebras outfit boasting the likes of pullen and mainella and also accounted for last years premiers in south. Anyone willing to give me good odds???????

Krauser said...

Clarence went through a simple group which they shld have been expected to do.
Eagles under pressure last week collapsed and i think clarence will concide inside 10 mins and they will crumble.
Clarence to win ressies shld be good to watch.
I am tipping that Walsh plays his best game on monday and i think he may well get a hattrick, he has something to prove.
Just had a thought tho which is abit funny, clarence culd win there first silverwere but there ex golden boy culd stop them lol am i the only one who thinks that it is funny ?

Who cares said...