Thursday, September 2, 2010

A north-south Top-Four Final is on cards

Photos (Top to Bottom): South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, has a lot of respect for Devonport City and once coached them; Devonport will miss injured striker, Chris McKenna; Burnie's Jeremy De Bomford is stretchered off at KGV Park last Saturday [PlessPix]

It may well be a north versus south top-four final after this Saturday’s semi-finals.

Northern champions Northern Rangers host Burnie United at the NTCA Ground at 2pm in one semi-final, while southern champions South Hobart entertain Devonport City at KGV Park at 2pm in the other.

Marshall Pooley returns in goal for Northern Rangers, who will be at full strength. He was unavailable last weekend.

“Apart from the goalkeeper, we’re unlikely to be changed from the Clarence match,” said Rangers coach, Adam Whitemore.

“We’ve beaten Burnie twice this season already and they were both fairly comfortable victories.

“They were fairly decisive, 3-1 home and away, so we’re understandably confident that we’ll beat them again.”

Burnie will be missing midfielder Jeremy De Bomford, who was stretchered off in the 3-1 win over Tilford Zebras at KGV Park last Saturday because of a leg injury.

Apart from De Bomford, the team should be unchanged.

Training on Thursday night was taken by defender Peter Van Ek because player-coach Sam Cocks was in Hobart, where his wife gave birth to their daughter.

Devonport City will be without experienced striker Chris McKenna, who tore a hamstring in the win over Glenorchy Knights last Saturday, when they take on South Hobart at KGV Park.

Alan Eadie is the most likely replacement for McKenna and he is an accomplished scorer and will pose a danger to South Hobart.

“Obviously, we’ll be going in as massive underdogs but, even though we’ve had an up-and-down season, we know that our best will at least be competitive and, in a finals game, you just never know,” said State representative McKenna.

South Hobart will field a full-strength side against Devonport, with Greg Downes, Gary Upton, Wook Bum Heo and David Cooper on the bench.

“We’ll have our most-experienced side out there,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“I haven’t seen Devonport this season, but obviously it’s a club I have great respect for, having coached them in the past. I respect the people who run the club, which is usually either on top or close to it.

“They’re always fighting to be the number one in the north and they’re a great side with a great tradition, so we’ll be treating them with the utmost respect.”

South Hobart will need to score more goals than they have in recent games.

They certainly play well and create chances, but unless they can convert more of those chances, they could be ambushed by Devonport.

The inclusion of Upton on the bench is an interesting move. He is likely to be brought on should things not be going South’s way, to add both leadership and a bit of muscle if the encounter turns physical.


archie said...

I rate Upton but honestly, he is on one leg at the moment so I, like Walter, wonder why Ken would bother to select him. Plenty of other options at South which would make more sense. Still, South by 3

Anonymous said...

Reckon South will need to play a lot better than last week to get over Devonport.
Also, given the forecast the weather could be a big leveller.
Should be a good game.
Can't work out the "north-south Top-Four Final" bit?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.10am

The highest placed winners get home ground advangtage:

So South 1st in SPL play Devonport 2nd in NPL

Ranges 1st in NPL play Burnie 3rd NPL

If it had gone to plan Zebras 2nd in SPL would have played Rangers in Launceston, but they didnt

Mckenna a hug loss for Devonport scored nearly half their goals this year.

Anonymous said...

South just play at a level that gets the job done. They win by a goal or 2 against bottom teams, and they win by a goal or 2 against top teams. More of the same this week. South 2 - 0.

Anonymous said...

Big out for Dev - without Kenny i don't give them much of a show

2 0r 3 nil to South

Pooley a big in for Rangers

Rangers 3-1 over Burnie

roundball said...

Nice report Walter, but have you missed out the bit where you cover Clarences game this weekend?

Walter said...

Roundball, and which games are they?

Anonymous said...

I get it. There aren't any!

Anonymous said...

you just go and watch your son at South and we'll look after ourselves thanks roundball