Wednesday, 19 August 2015

PREVIEW: Herald Women's Premier League Grand Final Day

I'll admit my coverage of the Herald Women's Premier League has been largely non-existant for the majority of the year but I've dedicated some time this week to give a preview for each of Sunday's Grand Finals. All four games will be played at Magic Park and as it's Grand Final day, all games must have a winner. 1st Grade will see 15 minutes each way of extra time if scores are level followed by a penalty shootout whilst the younger grades will go straight to penalties if scores are tied at full-time. Good luck to all!

Under 14's: Thornton Redbacks (1st) v Football Mid North Coast (2nd)
Kickoff: Sunday 23/8 9:00am
2015 Meetings: MNC 1-0 THO, THO 2-1 MNC & MNC 0-1 THO

It's first versus second in the Herald Women's Premier League Under 14's Grand Final as the Thornton Redbacks take on Football Mid North Coast. The form guide for this one is intriguing at best. Thornton have only lost one game in twenty-two this season and you guessed it, it came against the Mid North Coast. It will definitely be an early start for the visitors from Taree and Port Macquarie areas.

FMNC beat South Wallsend 2-0 in last week's Semi Final and will come into this with confidence from that but the test will be tough. Thornton got over the line on penalties against Adamstown last weekend and with two straight wins against the girls from up north, the Redbacks will surely like their chances of bringing a rare piece of silverware to Thornton Park.

My Tip: Thornton 2-1 Mid North Coast


Under 16's: South Wallsend (1st) v Adamstown Rosebud (2nd)
Kickoff: Sunday 23/8 11:00am
2015 Meetings: ADA 1-3 SWA, SWA 1-2 ADA & ADA 0-0 SWA

The Under 16's match is surprisingly similar to the 14's, South Wallsend are minor premiers and will take on runners-up Adamstown. Southy have only lost one game all year (against Adamstown) and if anything this game is more evenly poised than the 14's as they met just a couple weeks back and drew 0-0.

One thing to note and a big thing to note in my opinion is that South Wallsend have not conceded a single goal in 640 minutes of football...that's eight games! You can look across any grade in Newcastle and struggle to find a team with eight-straight clean sheets. Adamstown have drawn a fair few games so a draw and a penalty shootout could be their only chance. Southy put five past FMNC last week and whilst I can't see them doing to same to Adamstown, I think the girls in yellow and red will be lifting the trophy at the end of this one.

My Tip: South Wallsend 2-0 Adamstown


Under 18's: Football Mid North Coast (1st) v Valentine F.C (2nd)
Kickoff: Sunday 23/8 1:00pm
2015 Meetings: MNC 1-1 VAL, VAL 1-2 MNC & MNC 3-1 VAL

In the Under 18's, Football Mid North Coast has been the superior side of the competition by a fair margin, finishing 18 points clear of 2nd-placed Valentine Phoenix F.C. The girls from up north have won their last two games against Valentine and will be believing their a big hope of lifting the title on Sunday.

Valentine needed to produce a good effort last week to get over Merewether and they did just that and they'll no doubt know that their best game of the season will be required to beat the favourites in this one. Mid North Coast's form throughout the year is just too good to tip against.

My Tip: Mid North Coast 3-1 Valentine F.C


1st Grade: Merewether United (1st) v Valentine F.C (3rd)
Kickoff: Sunday 23/8 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: MER 3-2 VAL, VAL 0-4 MER, VAL 0-2 MER

Minor Premiers Merewether United will be aiming to win the big one on Sunday and their record this season has been impressive to say the very least with only one loss all season. The Reds have beaten Valentine not once, not twice but three times this season and they know they come into this as the favourites. It's a tag they have to wear and the pressure is on them.

Valentine's 8-0 win over a depleted Adamstown Rosebud side in last week's Semi Final will have Merewether fully aware that the Phoenix will be on the hunt for silverware. Merewether got past the Mid North Coast last weekend and now face a tougher test in Valentine. Grand Finals are always hard to predict but I'm going with Merewether.

My Tip: Merewether United 2-0 Valentine F.C

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