Friday, July 24, 2009

North should win men's representative match

A north versus south final in the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy competition is assured after tomorrow’s semi-finals.

Hobart Zebras take on Clarence United in an all-southern clash at Wentworth Park at the unusual time of 4.30pm tomorrow, while at Cardigan Street, the home side Somerset welcome Northern Rangers at 2pm.

Some of the Zebras and Clarence players are due to appear in Sunday’s North versus South game at Aurora Stadium in Launceston on Sunday and the late kick-off will give them even less time to recover as they still have to travel north.

Zebras should be good enough to beat Clarence as they will have a full-strength line-up, including ace marksman, Ben Crosswell, who has declined to play in the intrastate representative game.

Zebras are top of the southern Premier League, while Clarence are sixth, and that gap is significant, even in a cup match where upsets can occur.

Clarence have beaten Zebras once this season, but Zebras have triumphed twice and this game should make it a hat-trick of victories for the league leaders.

The all-northern game could go to extra-time and even penalties as the two rivals are very evenly matched.

Northern Rangers are top of the northern Premier League and Somerset is third, but when one throws home-ground advantage into the equation, things look very even.

Honours in the league between the sides are even, with both sides having won one meeting.

The score-lines were 1-0 and 2-1, which indicates there is not much difference at all between the sides.

Playing at home, and with the added incentive of beating the league leader, may just swing the tie in Somerset’s favour, but it will be very close.

"Northern Rangers will have a nervous game against Somerset as they were the first team to beat us and at home in 2009 NPL," said Rangers coach, Roslan Saad.

"The boys know that it won't be easy and have prepared themselves for a tight game.

"We almost have a full squad except for our young scoring sensation Micheal Townsend who is not 100% and is not available for the semi.

"He has been scoring goals for us and takes the responsibility from the senior goalscorers like Mark Ambrose, Paul Bremna and Luke Connors.

"His absent will be felt. I expect nothing less than a win and a spot in the final ,which will be history making for a young club like Northern Rangers."

The North made light work of the South in last year’s intrastate series and Eamonn Kelly’s selections for the South this time around have caused a lot of discussion amongst coaches and fans.

The side may lack firepower in attack with Crosswell absent and the North are well aware of striker Dwayne Walsh’s speed and will have made plans to counter this.

Luke Cripps has scored four hat-tricks this season, but whether he will be able to cope with the robust North defence is another matter.

The defence is a combination of South Hobart and Zebras players and, on paper, this looks solid.

But, the North are always fired up for these clashes and, with Bobby Eaves leading the attack, will give the visitors a thorough workout.

“The team are represented by all the clubs in the NPL and I would like to thank all the clubs for their support,” said North coach Roslan Saad.

“This applies especially to Devenport and Launceston United for allowing us to use their ground for training.

“Twenty-five players were shortlisted based on their club performance and were invited to train.

“The final 16 were selected based on availability and commitment.

“Kim Rigby, my assistant, and I felt that we lack a real scoring forwards but believe that we have enough players that can score from midfield.

“We are looking forward to the game on Sunday with strong support.

“I believe every club should be supporting the team since every club in the North has a representative.”

A feature of the women’s intrastate match is the presence on opposing sides of sisters Harkana and Marlugu Dixon.

They played together in the South in past years, but will now face each other and the sibling rivalry should be keen.

The North should also start as favourites in this match, which kicks off at 3.15pm, shortly after the game between A-League clubs Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.

There are only two Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League matches scheduled for Saturday.

Second-last Launceston City host third-last Burnie United and a draw may wellbe the outcome.

And, Prospect Knights are at home to Riverside Olympic and there is not much separating these sides and the outcome may well again be a Pools follower's delight.


Unknown said...

eamonn kelly is a top bloke and coach good luck to him

Captain said...

why hasn't fft got the swc semis advertised on its website or in today's paper.Have they fone to sleep?

Only game in Sth today - hopefully get a big crowd if the ground is open.

Also I wonder if the Mercury even knows the Victory is playing this weekend.

harden up maggots said...

??? wwp is open and hopefully we will see a decent crowd there

Walter said...

??? The Mercury never let me write about A-League. I've gone to Launceston for the past few years and offered to do a match report for them but they always decline and say they'll get one from the wire services, that is, interstate sources. One year I went up and offered to do it and they said no, News Limited will be sending the basketball writer from the Herald Sun. Whenever the Tasmania United Taskforce has a media conference, The Mercury never let me cover it. They told me officially that these are important events and would send 'a staff journalist' to cover them.

Unknown said...

The basketball writer lol. I remember the days when a tassie sports media man said he wouldn't take his dog to the soccer. Tell this cretin,if he is still around, that the world sees aussie rules as a curiosity and novel, and nothing more. Basketball must be frustrated