Thursday, 30 April 2015

PREVIEW: New-FM 1st Division Round 9

All info regarding wet weather will be posted on the wet weather page and also updated on the fixtures below. 

Also, the Newysports Facebook page is just 10 likes away from 400 so click like to get all the updates and what not on Facebook. Thanks for the support. Now let's hope we get a full round this weekend.

1st Grade: Cooks Hill United (5th) v West Wallsend (4th)

This is a fairly big game for the home side as they look to close the gap between themselves and the top four. A win here would see Cooks Hill gain a big chance to move above the Bluebells with a game in hand over West Wallsend to be played at Thornton next Wednesday night.

West Wallsend were demolished by Valentine 6-0 three weeks ago but bounced back to a 2-0 away win over Cessnock City in their last outing. The Bluebells will like their chances this week but against a Cooks Hill side that bagged six last time out, it will be a tough ask.

The Bluebells have had a much improved 2015 compared to their efforts last year and full credit has to go the West Wallsend community for keeping their club alive and it's good to see them finding success. This is a big game for them as they look to cement their spot in the top four.

The Cookers have gained confidence over the course of the season and their fluency is improving week by week. Cooks Hill have not lost a game at home this season and I'm tipping them to keep that streak alive on the weekend. It won't be another 6-1 win but I can see the home side grabbing the points.

Under 23's: Cooks Hill United (6th) v West Wallsend (10th)

I was going through my results page and discovered that Cooks Hill have won eight straight home games across all four grades. In fact only twice have Cooks Hill lost a New-FM game on home turf and that was the 23's and 19's on the opening day of the season. 

Cooks Hill's 23's won 4-1 in their last outing whilst the Bluebells were outdone by Cessnock. With that in mind I'm tipping the home side to grab a win here against a West Wallsend 23's side that have struggled in season 2015.

Under 19's: Cooks Hill United (3rd) v West Wallsend (7th)

Cooks Hill's 19's haven't lost since the opening day of the season but will find a challenge in a West Wallsend side that got the best of Cessnock City last time out. This will be a crucial match-up for both sides as it could take West Wallsend towards a top four side while a win for Cooks Hill would see them consolidate their spot in the top four.

I'm backing the home side as they're in some good form and haven't conceded in over 270 minutes of football. It won't be a one-sided match-up but I consider this Cooks Hill side good enough to get the job done this Saturday.

Under 17's: Cooks Hill United (2nd) v West Wallsend (4th)

Two sides that are in the top four will clash in the opening match of the day on Saturday. Cooks Hill are in second place and only Lake Macquarie City have got the better of the Cookers 17's this season. West Wallsend's 17's have won three straight and scored 14 goals in that time so they're a good chance here.

West Wallsend can move closer to the top of the table with a win here but I'm not confident to back them against the Cookers here. It'll be a tight game but a home win is my prediction in this round 9 clash. 

My Tips:
1st Grade: Cooks Hill United 2-1 West Wallsend
Under 23's: Cooks Hill United 4-1 West Wallsend
Under 19's: Cooks Hill United 2-0 West Wallsend
Under 17's: Cooks Hill United 2-1 West Wallsend

1st Grade: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (7th)

The ladder-leaders host Belmont-Swansea on Saturday at the later time of 3:30pm and haven't lost yet in season 2015. A win against former pacesetters Lake Macquarie City last week proved that the Phoenix are the real deal this season as they look to rejoin the top flight in season 2016.

Belmont-Swansea were lucky to have their match go ahead last week but couldn't avoid losing to an in-form Wallsend side. This week they face an even tougher test against a side that have scored a bucketload of goals over the course of season so far.

A wise man would tip the Phoenix to extend their good form and you'd have to be very optimistic to back the Belswans in this one. It could be a tough day at the office for the visitors.

Under 23's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (5th)

Valentine's 23's are the form team in any grade of the New-FM competition at the moment. 21 goals in four games and a two points lead at the top of the table. Just think about that for a moment, 21 goals in four games, that's an average of 5.2 goals every game at the moment. Incredible.

Belmont-Swansea's 23's know how to score. 2 goals against both Lakes and Cessnock but they conceded five in both of those matches. And then last week they couldn't get past lowly Wallsend. I'm sure even the Belswans players themselves know they're up for a challenge this weekend.

In my opinion there's no way Valentine don't win this game. They're in much too good form and if they play like they've played in the last month or so this could be another four or five goal haul.

Under 19's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (2nd)

Another Valentine team occupying top spot on the table but Belmont-Swansea's Under 19's side are no easybeats and in fact they're yet to lose in 2015. This is potentially the match of the day at Cahill Oval on Saturday and with their records combining for 50 goals in fourteen matches it could very well be a high-scoring affair.

I'm going to tip a draw as I simply cannot come up with a winner here. Neither team will want a draw but I can't split them. High-scoring draw is going to be my prediction here.

Under 17's: Valentine F.C (9th) v Belmont-Swansea (7th)

Finally, a Valentine team that's not topping the table and it's a bit strange how considering the massive junior base they have at Cahill Oval, their Under 17 New-FM team has just one win from seven outings. Belmont-Swansea however have three wins, one of which was a big 4-3 result against Wallsend last week.

Valentine will need to improve in front of goal if they want a result this weekend. They've scored just six goals in seven games and are facing a team that have scored 22 in the same time frame. Belmont-Swansea for the win is the way I'll go here.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Valentine F.C 5-2 Belmont-Swansea
Under 23's: Valentine F.C 5-1 Belmont-Swansea
Under 19's: Valentine F.C 3-3 Belmont-Swansea
Under 17's: Valentine F.C 0-2 Belmont-Swansea

1st Grade: Singleton (9th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)

Two teams desperate for a win will clash at Howe Park on Sunday afternoon. Singleton's only win of the season came against Cessnock in Round 3 whilst the Stags picked up a win against Thornton in Round 6.

I've seen both these teams play this season and was much more impressed by Singleton than I was Toronto. The Stags were awful in their 6-1 loss to Cooks Hill two weeks ago and unless things change for them, they'll be on the opposite end of a few more defeats this season.

Whether Singleton can get the points or not is a different question but after two close 3-2 losses, I think the time is now for the Strikers to pick up a home win and break their five game winless streak.

Under 23's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (8th)

The last time either of these teams won a game was all the way back in Round 2 when Toronto-Awaba beat West Wallsend. Singleton on the other hand are winless in 2015 and really need to pick up the three points against the visiting Stags on Sunday.

The Strikers 23's have scored just three goals in six games and that is their main problem at the moment. A win will move them off the foot of the table and this is a great chance for them to grab it. Toronto-Awaba went down 4-1 to Cooks Hill last time out but the result could go either way here. I'm going with the home side but not in confidence.

Under 19's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)

Talk about a bottom of the table clash, neither of these sides have produced a win in season 2015 and have let in 35 goals between them. I won't go on too much about this one but Toronto-Awaba haven't scored in their last two outings which is enough to make me favour the home side to grab the points. Not by much though.

Under 17's: Singleton (8th) v Toronto-Awaba (6th)

Toronto-Awaba were booted out of the top four by Cooks Hill last time out and the 4-0 defeat would have damaged the belief in this Toronto side. I'm not confident they're good enough though to bounce back this weekend. I don't think the Stags will lose but a draw is the way I'll go.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Singleton 2-1 Toronto-Awaba
Under 23's: Singleton 1-0 Toronto-Awaba
Under 19's: Singleton 1-0 Toronto-Awaba
Under 17's: Singleton 1-1 Toronto-Awaba

1st Grade: Wallsend (2nd) v Kahibah F.C (6th)

This will be an intriguing match-up at the Gardens on Saturday as high-flying Wallsend take on fellow promoted side Kahibah FC. The visiting side have recorded back to back wins but against a Red Devils outfit that have won five on the trot this will no doubt be one of Kahibah's biggest tests to date.

I'm confident in Wallsend here. They've recruited well and it's now showing on the field with the results they've picked up over the last month and a half. Whether or not the Gardens can be an NPL venue is another question but at this stage, I think the Red Devils are a serious contender to win some silverware this season. They should get the job done this weekend.

Under 23's: Wallsend (9th) v Kahibah (7th)

 This is a tough one to predict as a Wallsend side that have finally broken their bad form with a win and a draw in their past two outings clash with a Kahibah side that have also picked up a win and a draw over the last three weeks.

It's with those results in mind that I tip a draw here. Both these teams drew their last match 1-1 and I think it'll be a fair result given their positions on the league table.

Under 19's: Wallsend (6th) v Kahibah (9th)

Kahibah's 19's have won their last two outings and depending on the wet weather, they'll be keen to get out on the field after being washed out last weekend. I only mention that because Wallsend's 19's were fortunate enough to play last week and I see that as a fitness advantage.

I'm going with the home side only because they put four past Singleton the other week and were decent against a strong Belswans side last weekend at Blacksmiths Oval.

Under 17's: Wallsend (5th) v Kahibah (3rd)

Wallsend's 17's fell to an unfortunate 4-3 loss to Belmont-Swansea last week and will be keen to return to form against Kahibah on Sunday morning. The problem for the Red Devils though is that Kahibah are defensively the best team in the Under 17's competition and one could argue that they're the best in the whole New-FM, indeed they are on goals conceded.

The 17's from Kahibah smashed eight past Thornton in their last outing but Thornton isn't as strong as Wallsend. The Red Devils' 17's will be keen to return to their home ground which was the scene of their two best games of the season, a 5-1 defeat of Thornton and a 1-1 draw against a strong Cooks Hill side. It's hard to go past the visitors though. Kahibah by one or two.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Wallsend 2-1 Kahibah
Under 23's: Wallsend 1-1 Kahibah
Under 19's: Wallsend 1-0 Kahibah
Under 17's: Wallsend 0-2 Kahibah

1st Grade: Thornton (10th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)

After a good hour and a half, I've arrived at my final preview for Round 9 and it's the Thornton Redbacks hosting the Lake Macquarie City Roosters at Thornton Park, depending on the weather of course. 

Lakes lost a top of the table clash with Valentine two weeks ago and will no doubt be keen to get back on the pitch after letting in a late goal at Cahill Oval that afternoon. Losing like that would have hurt and I have no doubt the Roosters will be fired up this Sunday.

Thornton have lost two straight home games and haven't won since Round 2. This is a bridge too far in my opinion for the Redbacks. Lakes to get the points here and most likely comfortably.

Under 23's: Thornton (4th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)

Thornton's 23's are doing well this season and currently sit in fourth spot. They would have been disappointed not to get all three points against Kahibah two weeks ago and will be keen to jump the Roosters on the table and move further into the top four.

Lakes though are coming off of a heavy 6-2 defeat to high-flying Valentine and will also be looking at turning a last-start loss into a win this weekend. It's with that in mind that I tip a draw for Sunday. I was leaning towards Lakes but I'm not confident enough to back them.

Under 19's: Thornton (8th) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)

Lakes Under 19's will be desperate for a win as their last victory came all the way back in Round 3. In that time there's been a washout, a bye and three games against all three teams that sit above them on the table. This weekend is an easier assignment for the Roosters.

Thornton weren't too far off the pace in their 2-1 loss to Kahibah but I'm going with the visitors here. The Roosters know how to win across all four grades and are always a pretty safe tip. Don't be surprised by the upset but Lakes for my money.

Under 17's: Thornton (11th) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)

It's first versus last in the Under 17's and Thornton will be truly up against it in this one against a Lake Macquarie City side that have bagged 13 goals in their last two games. Thornton meanwhile were demolished 8-0 by Kahibah last time out and whilst I normally don't predict landslides, I can't resist it here. If form mean anything, Lakes by a lot.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Thornton 0-4 Lake Macquarie City
Under 23's: Thornton 2-2 Lake Macquarie City
Under 19's: Thornton 1-2 Lake Macquarie City
Under 17's: Thornton 1-8 Lake Macquarie City

Full Predictions:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

*Re-Scheduled Fixtures Update*

Whilst the forecast for this weekend is looking a bit grim as of the moment, a few games that were postponed are now back on the calender. 

I'll be starting to work on this week's previews today and have decided to do a full round in all grades despite the high chance that weather may rule a lot of games out. I can tell you first hand that there is still two large pools of water at the outer ground of Newcastle TAFE which of course is the home of Hunter Simba. Any further rain will close the field no doubt. The inside field could be a good replacement though.

I know all grounds in the Newcastle council area are still closed pending review and if the forecast plays out like expected there'll be a very high chance a lot of games will be called off.

Any further updates will be posted on the site when they filter through. 

Monday, 27 April 2015


I'm taking a risk and leaving this week's previews until later during the week. It'll be tough for me as I'll have a lot of writing to do in a short time frame but the weather forecast makes me fairly confident not every game will be played this weekend. I know my training ground is still closed and it wouldn't surprise me to see this weekend's games not go ahead, especially considering more rain is to come.

I'm also a bit shorter on time at the moment and will be scaling down my coverage and analysis of Major League Soccer. The US competition is a good one but trying to keep up and watch highlights is tougher than I originally thought. I'll still be doing tips and keeping results though.

Whilst on the topic of the good old US of A, I've made some graphics to keep up with the ongoing playoff series in both the NBA and NHL. They'll be updated every day so keep an eye on those links in the main menu. 

Locally, yesterday's games in the New-FM competition between Belmont-Swansea and Wallsend and the NPL Youth competition between the Emerging Jets and Charlestown City have been reviewed and the ladders for all eight grades have been updated.

Last but not least, a massive thanks to the people who have liked the Newysports Facebook page. At last count it was 323 likes, which is amazing considering it was around 190 last Friday night. Feel free to inbox the page and leave some feedback. I'll take banter, advice and anything in between.

On a side note, I've downloaded Dropbox to both my laptop and my iPad so with some luck I'll be able to update the site on the go, including the livescore graphics. Keep an eye out for that.

Let's hope for some good weather and a chance to get out on the field this weekend.

Sunday, 26 April 2015



The Wrap-Up (AFL Round 4)

Melbourne Demons scored a big upset win over a poor Richmond in wet conditions on Friday night whilst St Kilda were undone in New Zealand by a Carlton side that picked up their first win of the campaign, no doubt pleasing coach Mick Malthouse.

The ANZAC clash between Essendon and Collingwood was won by an in-form Pies outfit. In front of nearly 90,000, the black and white stripes pulled away from a gallant Essendon side and moved into third withe the 69-49 win.

The GWS Giants recorded one of their finest ever wins in a 66 point demolishing of their fellow expansion rivals Gold Coast at Canberra's Startrack Oval. The Greater Western Sydney side are now in second position on the AFL ladder.

Hawthorn almost pulled off a massive comeback win against Port Adelaide but the Power were too strong at Adelaide Oval as they moved up to 13th. Fremantle made it four from four with a big win over the Sydney Swans. The Dockers are certainly the form team in the AFL at the moment.

Brisbane slumped to another big loss, this time at home to the West Coast Eagles whilst Geelong's poor form continued with a home loss to North Melbourne, the Kangaroos pulling away in the fourth quarter. And finally, the Western Bulldogs continued their good form with a win against the Crows at Etihad Stadium.

By the way, I thought Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson's actions against a Port Adelaide fan yesterday were justified. From what I saw the fan got in Clarkson's face and was rightfully brushed aside. Then the fan continued to harass the coach and was grabbed by an angry Clarkson.

Maybe grabbing him by the throat was a bit much but I don't think Clarkson deserves any sort of punishment. The idiotic fan was just trying to be a smartass and get a reaction and that he did. 

*Update: It seems Clarkson won't be punished. Good call.


REVIEW: A-League Round 27


The Wrap-Up (A-League Round 27)

I'll make this quick as I've got some other things to review as well. The Jets went down to Brisbane on Friday night in a game that really summed up the season for the Novocastrians. For Brisbane though it was a great way to build some form ahead of the finals and it was good to see young Lachlan Jackson grab an unexpected goal.

Western Sydney were fortunate not to be on the field when it was hit by Saturday's freak hailstorm but when they did take the field they went down 2-1 to the visiting Perth Glory. The team from WA put their salary cap drama behind them and put on a good display on the road in Parramatta.

The RBB were involved in a messy situation with the police and it's a shame to see scenes like that at an A-League match. I'm not going to take sides as I wasn't there but let me say there is no place for flares in this league, they're banned, end of story. On the field, the Wanderers will be hoping to turn things around next season.

Adelaide United demolished Melbourne City on Saturday night. No it wasn't 7-0 or anything like that but the visitors never looked a chance against a dominant Reds side that was up 3-0 inside the first half-hour or so. A great warm-up for Josep Gombau's men before next week's Semi Final.

On Sunday, Sydney FC got over the line against Wellington. Not a crucial result for either side considering the Victory's result but still a decent showing for a Sydney side that will take next week off. Wellington will like their chances at home against a lackluster Melbourne City side.

Finally, Melbourne Victory were too classy for a Central Coast Mariners side that will be happy their season has come to an end. The Mariners have improved since Tony Walmsley has come in. He seems like a competent manager and I expect the Mariners to bounce back next year.

It was Victory's day though as they rocketed to the Premiers' Plate with a 3-1 win. Congrats to the Victory, they've been the best team all season and I enjoy the style they play the game. But the job is only half done for a side that could very well win the Grand Final at this rate.


Next Week:



The Wrap-Up (NRL Round 8)

I got to catch a fair bit of NRL action this weekend as most local sport was washed out. I didn't get to see the Friday night game but an impressive win nonetheless for the Tigers. They're a tough team to predict, some weeks they produce results like this one and other weeks they get outdone.

The Titans pulled off a gutsy win on the road in New Zealand and moved into the top eight whilst the Cowboys also recorded a tight away win in Newcastle. The 26-24 result continues the Cowboys form and sees them move into the top four, a long way from where they were after the first few rounds of the season.

I tipped the Dragons to beat the Roosters and they didn't let me down. It was another backs against the wall win for the team with the red v as they had to overcome not just the Roosters, but horror conditions and a significant delay half-way through the first period. Another gutsy and tight away win.

A fourth straight game decided by four points or less was the last match of an entertaining day and it saw Manly pull off a 12-10 win at AAMI Park, their first victory at the home of the Melbourne Storm since it was built. As a Manly member it was a relief to see the team pull off a big win against their arch rivals.

Whilst Manly are still locked to last spot, Parramatta will be looking over their shoulder as they fell to a 28-16 loss to the Brisbane Broncos. Sunday's early game saw the Penrith Panthers record a much-needed win over the Cronulla Sharks whilst the Raiders pulled off a daring display in their win over the Rabbitohs in Cairns. A massive result for the men from the capital.


Representative Teams

REVIEW: Local Results ANZAC Weekend

Broadmeadow Magic Outclass Wasteful Edgeworth:

I was happy to see this game go ahead but after being at the ground on Friday night, I can tell you it might not have been a bad decision to postpone this one. Either way it went ahead and Magic were far too good on the night which is not what I was personally expecting from this clash.

The visitors started the better of the two sides and should have had an extra man advantage after the Edgeworth goalkeeper brought down a Magic attacker outside the penalty box. I thought a yellow was a let-off but Magic made the most of their chances not long after through Dino Fajkovic, taking his season tally to five goals.

Edgeworth got one back soon after that through Josh Evans (correct me if I'm wrong with the name there). The sides went in at half time locked at 1-1 after both had periods of attack. The second half was almost completely one-sided though as Magic kicked away.

Two goals to Kale Bradbury and a penalty to Peter Haynes took Magic out to a 4-1 lead. I don't think Magic played as well at Edgeworth as they did at Cooks Square Park last weekend. There was a bit of a lack in transition as they looked to hit the counter-attack too fast at times. To their credit they made the most of their chances.

Edgeworth were very sloppy but did create a chance or two during the match. Their defending cost them as they struggled throughout at the back, eventually going down to ten men after a sloppy challenge on the edge of the box. It could have and probably should have been more than 4-1. 

Next week will give the Eagles a chance to bounce back as they host Maitland on Friday whilst Magic will like their chances to make it three wins in a row against Adamstown next Sunday afternoon.

Wallsend Red Devils Move Into Second-Place:

I was surprised to see results come through from Blacksmiths Oval as I was confident it'd be off after the rain and hail last night. Credit has to go out to the groundstaff at Blacksmiths. Anyway onto the result now and Wallsend have made it five wins in a row.

The Red Devils capitalised on a round full of wash-outs and moved up to second position for the time being. A huge result for the promoted side as they once again prove that they have what it takes to find success in the New-FM 1st Division. 

In the lower grades, 1-1 draws was the flavour of the day as both the Under 23's and Under 19's couldn't be split. Belswans 19's missed a chance to return to the summit and remain in second whilst in the 23's, Wallsend picked up just their fourth point of the season.

In the 17's, Belmont-Swansea grabbed a 4-3 victory

NPL Youth Emerging Jets v Charlestown City Blues:

The synthetic turf at Lake Macquarie meant this game was never in doubt apart from the lack of power to the Speers Point facility earlier in the week. The result were mixed for the Emerging Jets. The Under 12's grabbed a 3-0 win over and moved into 6th position whilst the 13's stayed on top in the Under 14 NPL competition with a dominant 7-0 victory.

The visitors got a 2-1 win in the Under 15's which kept the young Blues in touch with the top four whilst the 17's Charlestown side also recorded a much-needed 2-1 result that moves them away from the bottom group of teams.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

PREVIEW: NPL, New-FM & NPL Youth ANZAC Weekend

As of 3pm it seems as though this game will be going ahead tonight. I for one am pleased personally as it should be a cracker but I still think calling it off would have been a wise choice due to the fact that a few of players would no doubt be affected from the recent storms. Nonetheless it's on tonight.

Magic are coming off the back of a hugely impressive 5-1 result over Maitland last weekend whilst Edgeworth were outdone by Hamilton at Darling St Oval. Now in what is essentially a top of the table clash, these two sides meet each other at a wet Jack McLaughlin Oval tonight.

I've been keen to watch Edgeworth play after an impressive start to the season whilst I thought Magic's performance last week was better than any display they put on last year (I went to nearly every Magic game so I can make a call on that).

These two sides always put on an entertaining match-up and Edgeworth always have a vocal crowd behind them. Whether or not that crowd show up tonight is a big question but the Eagles will be fired up as they've got a great chance to go back to the top of the table with a win.

As for my tip, I'm going with Magic. Last week's game started slowly for Broadmeadow but once they got going they couldn't be stopped. Edgeworth will be much tougher to break through than Maitland but with Dino Fajkovic in goalscoring form and his teammates starting to find some real fluency, I think Magic will get the points tonight.

*Both 22's and 19's games are OFF*

My Tips:
1st Grade: Edgeworth 1-2 Broadmeadow
Under 22's: POSTPONED
Under 19's: POSTPONED

Word is that all three grades will be going ahead at Ulinga Oval on Sunday unless further rain affects the ground. Firstly, it's a bit strange that South Cardiff have had three straight home games to start the season, seems a bit unfair but of course that will mean a few away games at the back end of the season.

As for my preview, South Cardiff couldn't overcome the Newcastle Jets Youth side last week but did rescue a 3-3 draw. Weston on the other hand defeating the Lambton Jaffas and gained some revenge for their Grand Final loss to the same side last season.

The Bears showed some class last week against the Jaffas and I think they'll be too strong here for the Gunners. South Cardiff will be aiming to avoid a third-straight draw but I can't see them beating Weston. Anything can happen on a heavy track like Ulinga will no doubt be on Sunday but Bears for my money.

In the 22's, South Cardiff are coming off of a 3-2 win over the U/18 Emerging Jets while Weston could only record a 2-2 draw with Lambton at Rockwell Automation Park. I'm going with the draw here. Again the heavy pitch will affect play and I can see this being a 0-0 or a 1-1.

Weston should be too strong in the Under 19's after two straight wins over Adamstown and Lambton in the first two rounds. South Cardiff went down to the U/16 Emerging Jets and I don't like their chances against the Bears this Sunday.

My Tips:
1st Grade: South Cardiff 0-2 Weston Workers
Under 22's: South Cardiff 1-1 Weston Workers
Under 19's: South Cardiff 0-2 Weston Workers

Credit has to go to the grounds staff at Blacksmiths if this game goes ahead. It's a very flat ground at Blacksmiths Oval so it's a surprise to see it being on depending of course on the weather over the next day or so.

It's been two weeks since the Belswans last played and on that day they went down disappointingly at home to Cessnock City. In fact, Belmont-Swansea have lost their last three on the bounce before last week's draw. Wallsend on the other hand have won their last four, including an away win in Singleton last weekend.

The Red Devils should be good enough to continue their good form this weekend. They're the best of the three promoted sides so far and are proving they are in their element in this division. I think it'll be a fifth-straight victory for the Red Devils on Sunday.

In the 23's, Belswans have let in ten in their last two outings whilst Wallsend are backing up after a 2-0 win at Singleton last week. Belswans have to work on their defence in this grade and I think they'll do it. They need to return to their early season form and Sunday's a great time to do just that.

Belswans 19's have scored seventeen goals in three games and meet a Wallsend side that put four away in last week's win over Singleton. If the ground isn't heavy under foot, expect a goal or two but it's more likely this'll be a lower scoring game due to the conditions. Either way, Belswans for the win.

Wallsend's 17's have won their last two on the bounce but are coming up against a Belmont-Swansea side that scored nine goals last time out (against a weakened Cessnock). I'm going to back an away win here. Wallsend can move into the top four with a win and I can see them grabbing it.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Belmont-Swansea 1-2 Wallsend
Under 23's: Belmont-Swansea 2-1 Wallsend
Under 19's: Belmont-Swansea 3-0 Wallsend
Under 17's: Belmont-Swansea 1-3 Wallsend

I'll be making my way out to Kahibah for this one and I'll try and remember to bring a blanket or something to sit on rather than the cold concrete grandstand. Anyway full credit to the groundstaff at Kahibah if this one goes ahead. I played there last year after rain and it was pretty dangerous under foot, not to mention my semi final was called off after less rain so it's a surprise to see this one still possibly going ahead.

As for the preview, Cooks Hill were superb in their 6-1 win over Toronto-Awaba last weekend but this is a much tougher ask against a Kahibah side that have pulled off two impressive road wins at Singleton and Thornton in recent weeks. 

This is the first ever New-FM home game for team in green and black and are in form after those two wins but Cooks Hill's defence is a tough one to break through. I'm going to tip a draw here. Hopefully an entertaining 2-2 draw.

In the 23's, Cooks Hill are coming off the back of a 4-1 win over Toronto last weekend and I can see them picking up three points again this Sunday. Kahibah could only muster a draw against Thornton last week and if the Cookers play like they did last week they'll get the points.

The 19's is interesting as Kahibah have put poor early season form behind them and won their last two (albeit against teams in the lower half). Cooks Hill however won 2-0 against Toronto-Awaba last weekend and are unbeaten on the road after a 3-2 win at Wallsend and a scoreless draw at Lakes.  I'm tipping the visitors to get the points.

Finally in the 17's, Kahibah were supreme in their 8-0 win over Thornton last week but they face a tougher test in Cooks Hill this weekend. The Cookers 17's sent Toronto down a few spots on the table with a 4-1 win and are looking at closing the gap at the top to just two points with a win here. I'm cautiously tipping the away side to get the win.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Kahibah 2-2 Cooks Hill
Under 23's: Kahibah 1-3 Cooks Hill
Under 19's: Kahibah 0-2 Cooks Hill
Under 17's: Kahibah 2-4 Cooks Hill

I normally do the NPL Youth tips in their own separate section but decided to throw this here as it's one of the few fixtures going ahead this weekend.

The U/12 Emerging Jets are struggling in the Under 13's comp and are up against a Charlestown team that are in a similar situation. They say when it doubt tip a draw. That's what I'll do.

The Emerging Jets 13's are dominating in the Under 14 division and it's hard not to see them doing the same thing this weekend.

Charlestown's 15's have been on the end of some close defeats and against a Jets side that have drawn two out of five games, I'm going to back the Blues to leave Speers Point with a point.

Charlestown have struggled in the Under 17's and it doesn't get much easier for them having to play on synthetic turf this week. Don't get me started on how much the synthetic fields give the Emerging Jets an advantage. That conversation can wait for another day. Jets for the win here.

My Tips:
Under 13's: Emerging Jets U/12's 1-1 Charlestown
Under 14's: Emerging Jets U/13's 4-1 Charlestown
Under 15's: Emerging Jets U/14's 1-1 Charlestown
Under 17's: Emerging Jets U/15's 2-1 Charlestown