Thursday, 10 September 2015

PREVIEW: Zone Football League Grand Final Day 2015


Zone Premier League Grand Final
Beresfield United v Swansea F.C
Kickoff: Sunday 13/9 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: BER 2-1 SWA & SWA 2-5 BER

Pressure is the key word in this game. Beresfield United have been the best Zone Premier League side all season, they've beaten Grand Final opponents Swansea F.C twice, they've got form behind them, they've got confidence and they want a Grand Final win to cap off a superb season. Make no doubt, this is a huge game for Beresfield United.

Swansea F.C came from behind in their Semi Final clash with the Newcastle Suns and stunned the Macedonian-backed club at their home ground last weekend and now pose a dangerous, unpredictable threat to Beresfield United's hopes and dreams. It's going to be a thrilling match-up and I'm pleased to annouce that Newysports will have live updates from the ground on Sunday.

As for my prediction, I simply cannot see Beresfield letting their season fall by the wayside. They're building a serious club up there and with a few changes, New-FM football may only be a few years away. I believe the pressure is firmly on the Hawks and I believe they'll stand up to it.

Either way, this promises to be a thrilling ZPL Grand Final, enjoy the day!


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Zone League One Grand Final
Morisset United v Warners Bay
Kickoff: Saturday 12/9 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: MOR 3-2 WAR & WAR 4-2 MOR

Just like the Zone Premier League, the ZL1 Grand Final features a pace-setting, minor premiership-winning side against an unpredictable side that upset the 2nd-placed side in the Semi Final series. Unlike the ZPL GF, the underdogs in this one actually hold a victory over the premiers in an earlier fixture.

Morisset United have been the best side all season in the Zone League One; game after game; week after week they were the ladder-leaders all season. They did have a couple slip-ups, including a 4-2 loss to Warners Bay after being reduced to ten men...something they can't afford to do again on Saturday.

Warners Bay saw off traditional Zone League powerhouse Cooks Hill United over the two-legged Semi Final and now have a chance of winning the Grand Final...something that looked a slim possibility at times during the season. The Panthers have done the job at the right end of the season and anything could happen in this one.

Macquarie Field is a perfect venue for this match as it allows the two clubs to meet each other at a neutral venue that is near enough to both Morisset and Warners Bay. There should be a decent following for both clubs as they play it out for the grand prize. My tip is Morisset United but with Warners Bay in the form they're in; anything is possible.


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Zone League Two Grand Final
Raymond Terrace v University F.C
Kickoff: Saturday 12/9 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: RAY 2-1 UNI & UNI 0-3 RAY

Raymond Terrace fought hard to fight back against a tricky Hunter Simba side in the Semi Final 1st Leg and last week in the 2nd Leg at King Park, the Rangers simply had everything go their way. Goal after goal, it was four by the break and seven by the end of what was a horror day for the Simba side. 

Goals to Nathan Hanley (x2), Clint Lansbury, Luke Broadhead, Steve Krause, Kev Roberts and an unfortunate Simba own goal gave Raymond Terrace a 7-0 win on the day and a whopping 12-3 aggregate win. It was simply a smashing although it was hindered by the loss of Steve Krause to a horror leg injury that will see him miss the Grand Final and face a tough road to recovery.

Their opponents, University have been the second-best side all season in this grade but is that what they'll still be on Saturday. Sure, the Terrace have been promoted to ZL1 but they want to finish on a high. They've beaten the University twice and if they play like they did last week, this should be another glorious day for the Raymond Terrace Soccer Club.


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My ZL3 Grand Final preview is more in-depth due to Grand Final hosts West Wallsend allowing me to write some previews for the official program. So in saying that, don't expect my Zone League previews to ever be this good on a regular schedule as I simply don't have the time. Maybe I could get a Zone League writer next year but that's another story for another day!


Zone League Three Grand Final
New Lambton F.C v RAAF Williamtown
Kickoff: Saturday 12/9 3:00pm
2015 Meetings: RAF 3-3 NLA & NLA 3-0 RAF

New Lambton flew high in a fiery 1st Leg clash with Dudley-Redhead and came out 4-0 winners. The 2nd Leg at Dudley wasn't as simply as the Thistles pushed the Eagles all the way. New Lambton stumbled into the Grand Final and will need a much improved effort on Saturday if they want to finish what has been an incredibly strong debut ZL3 season with a Grand Final win.

Leg 1 was a game in which New Lambton firmly put one foot into the ZL3 Grand Final. An emphatic 4-0 win over Dudley-Redhead with goals to Adam Morrison (x2), Aaron Luttenberger and Jordan Burdon gave the Eagles a handy four goal lead going into the second leg. The game was heated and it was sure to be a fiery second leg with Dudley having nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Thistles gave their very best and almost stole a Grand Final spot as they beat New Lambton 5-2. The Eagles would go through on aggregate with vital goals to Adam Morrison and Andy Roberts. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't clinical but the New Lambton F.C boys were into the Zone League Three Grand Final.

Wallsend F.C were looking destined for the Grand Final but they were depleted numbers wise last week and faced the full force of a RAAF Williamtown side that had absolutely nothing to lose. Williamtown were downed 3-1 by Wallsend in the 1st Leg and could only muster one goal that happened to be an own goal from the Red Devils.

In last week's 2nd Leg, Williamtown were victims of an awful start as they went 1-0 down and lost main man Chad Parker all in the opening ten minutes. It was 4-1 to Wallsend on aggregate and then the tables were not just turned but flipped onto the Red Devils. Two goals before half-time would give them a sniff and then a near-perfect second half saw them stun Wallsend.

Four goals to Ant Wainwright, and goals to Chris McLoughlin, Bevan Drew and Timothy Circus would give the visitors a stunning 7-1 win on the day and an impressive 8-4 aggregate victory. It was an inspirational performance and easily Williamtown's biggest win of the year as they secured progression to this week's Grand Final.

Two key players that could very well shape the destiny of this game are Ant Wainwright from the RAAF side and Aaron Lettenberger from New Lambton. Wainwright scored four in the emphatic win over Wallsend last week and poses as a real threat in front of goal whilst Lettenberger has been key for New Lambton all season, scoring over 20 goals. Judging by the fact that these two teams can produce a goalfest on their day it wouldn't be a surprise to see these two players be crucial towards who wins it.

It's sure to be a cracker of a game. The first meeting between these sides finished as a 3-3 thriller whilst New Lambton were too strong in the second match, winning 3-0. Williamtown will be full of confidence and coming off a loss to Dudley, New Lambton may be pushed to the limit if they want to win this one. Welcome again to Johnston Park and enjoy the Zone League Three Grand Final 2015. Best of luck to both sides.
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As this preview's going into the matchday programme, I'm going to do something different and do my tips in a different section. I feel as though new Lambton will win this game on Saturday. Sure the RAAF are coming off a big win but New Lambton have been the form side all year and it would be a disappointment in their eyes not to come away with the trophy today.


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The ZL3 Reserve Grade Grand Final sees minor premiers Wallsend F.C take on New Lambton F.C in what was destined to be the same fixture in the firsts until Williamtown's stunning victory last weekend. It's an intriguing fixture as both teams possess a victory over the other during the 2015 season. Quite frankly, anything is possible on Grand Final Day.

Wallsend were too good for Kahibah during the two-legged Semi Final series. The 1st Leg saw the Red Devils record a vital 3-1 away leg victory with a brace to Cameron Whiting and a goal to Torran James. The 2nd Leg saw Kahibah win 2-1 but it wasn't enough. A goal to Brent Holmes would turn out to be the crucial Semi Final-winning goal for the Red Devils. It'd be a fantastic way for the club to cap off a brilliant few weeks across all grades to win this one.

Standing opposite them are New Lambton F.C. They got to this stage the hard way. A goal from Sean Foster gave them a 1-0 home leg win but Edgeworth would turn the tables in last week's 2nd Leg and record a 1-0 win of their own...cue the nervousness of a penalty shootout. New Lambton reigned supreme, winning 4-1 in the shootout and sealing a Grand Final spot. Dreams of a Grand Final double will be driving the Eagles on.

This will be a tight game and one where either side could come away with the victory. Penalties may be on the cards as well so hopefully both sides bring their goalscoring boots. Best of luck to both Wallsend and New Lambton in the Reserve Grade Grand Final.

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Again, my tip is in a different section here and this is the first and only time I'll be doing a Zone League reserve grade tip in 2015. I think it'll go the distance and I think Wallsend will come away with a shootout win.

My Tip: Wallsend F.C 2-2 New Lambton
(Wallsend Win 4-2 On Penalties)

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Zone Football League Grand Finals 2015
Full Fixture List:

Sunday:

Zone Premier League:
Adamstown Oval, Adamstown
1st Grade: Beresfield United v Swansea F.C (3pm)
Reserves: University F.C v Mayfield United (12:45pm)
3rd Grade: University F.C v Beresfield United (10:30am)


Saturday:

Zone League One:
Macquarie Field, Speers Point
1st Grade: Morisset United v Warners Bay (3pm)
Reserves: Kotara South v Cooks Hill United (12:45pm)
3rd Grade: Kotara South v Charlestown (10:30am)


Zone League Two:
Darling Street Oval, Hamilton South
1st Grade: Raymond Terrace v University F.C (3pm)
Reserves: Hamilton Olympic v Raymond Terrace (12:45pm)


Zone League Three:
Johnston Park, West Wallsend
1st Grade: New Lambton F.C v RAAF Williamtown (3pm)
Reserves: Wallsend F.C v New Lambton F.C (12:45pm)

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