Friday, June 26, 2009

Weather again plays havoc with fixtures in southern Tasmania

The results of the mid-week catch-up game has enlivened matters in the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League competition at both ends of the ladder, and the weekend schedule of matches should stir the pot even more.

Second-placed Glenorchy Knights lost 2-0 to second-last Hobart Olympic on Wednesday night through goals by Hugh Richardson and Michael Bulis.

Olympic’s win lifted them up a place to sixth, where they replaced New Town Eagles, who dropped to second-last position, while the Knights’ loss gave leaders Tilford Zebras some valuable breathing space.

Zebras can make life at the top of the ladder a little bit easier by beating Kingborough at KGV Park on Sunday afternoon.

Zebras will miss Aaron Brazendale, who has gone overseas, but Andrew Telega returns to the defence and coach Nick Lapolla said there was no pressure at all on his side and all they had to do was keep winning and the title would be theirs.

There is a lot of pressure on Knights and Eagles, who meet at KGV Park on Saturday at the slightly earlier and strange time of 2pm.

Knights are 2 points adrift of leaders Zebras and will have played two more games than the leaders after this match and so a win is imperative if they are to keep their title hopes alive.

A win would put them top for at least 24 hours, and that would put pressure on Zebras.

Knights coach Eamonn Kelly will have several tricky selection problems ahead of this match.

He substituted Corey Smith on Wednesday night after he collected a yellow card after only eight minutes, while he has other players carrying injuries, including Brazilian Breno Bianchini Joviano Dos Santos.

The game is just as important for Eagles, who have made slow progress in recent weeks - some would say they have come to a shuddering halt - and they now find themselves sucked into the relegation battle as they are a mere 5 points ahead of the rapidly improving bottom-side University.

Eagles have some injury and illness clouds over Chris Wass, Alex Leszczynski, Michael Soszynski and Mark Page, but coach George Krambousanos is hoping they will pass muster.

“I think we’ll have a very good game against the Knights, especially on KGV Park,” said Krambousanos.

Olympic will be seeking to make it two wins in less than a week when they take on Clarence at Wentworth Park in a 6.30pm game on Saturday.

A win could lift Olympic up another place to fifth and this will be a huge incentive for the visitors, who should be at full strength and brimming with confidence.

Clarence can run hot and cold and will need to make better use of their opportunities if they are to win this game.

Clarence did beat University in the cup last weekend, but their players will still have memories of the previous weekend’s 6-0 hiding against South Hobart.

The University versus South Hobart game has been postponed, as have all Division One games this weekend.

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