Friday, 4 September 2015

PREVIEW: PS4 Northern NSW NPL Grand Final Day


1st Grade: Edgeworth F.C v Hamilton Olympic
Kickoff: Sunday 6/9 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: HAM 2-0 EDG & EDG 3-1 HAM

After four months action it has all come down to one final game as the breakout side of 2015 Edgeworth Eagles clash with traditional powerhouse Hamilton Olympic in Sunday's NPL Grand Final at Magic Park. Hamilton keep their streak of a Grand Final appearance every two or three years alive whilst Edgeworth have not made it to this stage since 2010. It's a big game for both clubs.

Olympic are looking for their seventh Grand Final crown and after losing to their arch rivals Magic three years ago, Michael Bolch's men know that as the lower-ranked side, the pressure isn't on their shoulders as much as one would think. They've made that clear in the media during the week; they feel as though Edgeworth are the deserved favourites.

Edgeworth were cruising 3-1 against Magic in the 1st Leg before a comeback from Broadmeadow tied the match at 3-3. The 2nd Leg somehow ended scoreless, despite a late surge from Magic and a somewhat controversial penalty shout waved away. Edgeworth stumbled into the Grand Final and will need a much improved effort on Sunday.

Both these sides have featured some young breakout stars in each of their squads; Edgeworth with attacking threats like Keanu Moore and Brody Taylor and Olympic with the likes of Rhys Cooper and Tom Davies. There's a lot of upcoming talent across the park in both sides and with experience pouring out of both starting elevens this will be a Grand Final to remember.

Edgeworth in my opinion has sealed their spot as the premier club in Northern NSW this season, especially with their gallant FFA Cup effort against Melbourne City. I can see this being the tightest Grand Final in recent years and perhaps even a shootout but I think Edgeworth will be leaving with the title in hand.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-2 Hamilton
(Edgeworth Win 5-3 On Penalties)

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Under 22's: Edgeworth F.C v Emerging Jets U/18's
Kickoff: Sunday 6/9 1:00pm
2015 Meetings: EDG 2-0 EMJ & EMJ 2-2 EDG

The job for the Under 18 Emerging Jets was already set and done when they defeated Hamilton Olympic 6-1 in the 1st Leg during a mid-week fixture. Goals from Reece Pettit and Dain Greentree added another two onto what was already a fairly ugly aggregate scoreline. The Jets have won four of their last five with the only blemish in that time being a 2-2 draw with Sunday's opponents and U/22 Minor Premiers Edgeworth.

The Eagles like the Emerging Jets overcame their Semi Final opponents (in this case Magic) with ease, 7-1 over two legs. Leading 3-0 after the away leg, goals were scored by Josh Colman, Chris Fayers, Jordan Jackson & Domenico Bizzari, giving Edgeworth a convincing aggregate victory. Just like the Jets, Edgeworth have won four of their last five with the only draw being a 2-2 result against their opponents this week. Something's got to give.

Just like the 1st Grade fixture, I'm going to tip this one to go the distance and I'm going to tip the Jets to win via penalty shootout.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-2 U/18 Emerging Jets
(U/18 Jets Win Via Penalty Shootout)

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Under 19's: Broadmeadow Magic v Edgeworth F.C
Kickoff: Sunday 6/9 11:00am
2015 Meetings: EDG 1-2 BMG & BMG 1-4 EDG

Edgeworth only need to look at their last match with Magic for inspiration in Sunday's Grand Final. Last time they played Magic they won 4-1 and they'll be enjoying returning to Magic Park again after the 1-0 Semi Final 1st Leg victory over Weston that'd eventually be the difference in a 2-1 aggregate win. Jayden Demir and Bailey Garland were the crucial goalscorers for Edgeworth's 19's in the Semi Final series.

Broadmeadow deserve some credit as they managed to turn around a 2-1 1st Leg loss at Lambton last weekend, beating Hamilton Olympic 2-0, via goals to Justin Micallef (he also scored Magic's 1st Leg goal) and Morgan Okeno. Both sides are finding winning form at a crucial time and again I feel as though this game will be a tight one.

I really want to tip a third penalty shootout but the idea of that is a tad outrageous so I'll go with Edgeworth 2-1.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 1-2 Edgeworth

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