It all comes to this

A draw should be enough for Blacktown Spartans at home to Blacktown City to claim the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Premiership.

But if Spartans draw and Bonnyrigg White Eagles thrash Sydney Olympic, or if Spartans lose and Bonnyrigg win by any score then the White Eagles will be the premiers.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, St George host Marconi Stallions with valuable club championship points on the line.


Blacktown Spartans v Blacktown City, 3pm Sunday at Blacktown Football Park

It doesn't get any bigger than this for Blacktown Spartans. After galloping through the first two months of the season, it looked like they would waltz to the premiership at a canter.

The seasoned campaigners, Blacktown City and Bonnyrigg White Eagles, had other ideas though and we arrive at the final round with Spartans needing a point (provided Bonnyrigg don't beat Olympic by six) or all three points to guarantee them top spot.

Standing between them and glory is Blacktown City. Arguably the slickest football side in the competition, Blacktown City looked like they would storm home to claim the prize, but have fallen off the bandwagon. They are without a win in four games, the latest of which saw them lose to Bentleigh Greens in the FFA Cup match in midweek.

Blacktown City can't win, but they can finish second if they beat Spartans and Bonnyrigg lose to Sydney Olympic, but the thought of spoiling Spartans' party will be motivation enough.


Round 22 Preview

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Sydney Olympic, 3pm Sunday at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre

Bonnyrigg White Eagles have kept themselves in the mix while the whips have been cracking and others around them have faltered.

The same could be said for Sydney Olympic, who last week wrapped up a spot in the finals by beating Rockdale City.

Brian Brown will hope that Olympic rest on their laurels but that is unlikely, as they are fighting Rockdale City for fourth place.

Bonnyrigg is a formidable outfit with plenty of big game experience and for them this is a mini grand-final, as they try to put themselves into the mix just in case Spartans slip up.

Olympic could crown a fantastic season by snaring fourth place, but they will have their work cut out against the White Eagles and they will nevertheless be very happy with their finals finish.


Rockdale City Suns v Manly United, 3pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre

Rockdale City Suns can finish fourth, but they need to beat Manly United and hope that Bonnyrigg White Eagles do them a favour and beat Sydney Olympic.

A draw won't be enough for Branko Culina's side, unless Bonnyrigg thrash Grant Lee's side, which could have significant repercussions at the top of the table if Spartans can only draw with Blacktown City.

Rockdale blew the chance to have fourth place sewn up when they lost to Olympic last weekend, and Branko Culina's side have struggled at home recently, not helped by the condition of the pitch that is so bumpy in places even Paul Reid has struggled to hit his passes.

Manly meanwhile avoided the ignominy of the wooden spoon by thrashing St George last weekend and they will be eager to finish a disappointing league campaign on a high.


Sydney United 58 FC v Sutherland Sharks, 3pm Sunday at Sydney United Sports Centre

This is one of two games with little riding on it in round 22.

Sydney United 58 do have the Westfield FFA Cup to concentrate on however, after their 4-1 win at home to Far North Queensland Heat during the week.

It means that competition for places in Mark Rudan's side will be fierce and he will have been impressed by the performances of Domenico Tripodi and Matthew Bilic against the Heat.

It will be a big day for Luka Glavas who this week officially announced his retirement from football with Sydney United 58 FC honouring him for his services at the club.

Sutherland's hopes of finals football were dashed when Sydney Olympic beat Rockdale City Suns last weekend, so they will travel to Edensor Park looking to salvage pride, if nothing else.

Panni Nikas has struggled for goals recently, and the celebrated midfielder would love to find the back of the net one more time.


St George v Marconi Stallions, 3pm Sunday Venue Lilys Football Centre

St George and Marconi are last and second last respectively in the club championship, so this match takes on significant importance across all grades.

But it is in first grade where the most points are on offer. St George are condemned to the bottom of the ladder after they lost to Manly United last week, while Marconi are just ahead in the midfield pack.

The threat of relegation will certainly spice up a match that on paper doesn't look too special and the players will only be too aware of the pitfalls of not turning up for the final 90' minutes of the year.

St George will be desperate to ensure that stint in Men's 1 isn't a brief one and Marconi will hope that their long history of top level competition continues into 2015.


South Coast Wolves v APIA-Leichahrdt Tigers, 3pm Sunday at WIN Stadium

Nothing but pride is on the line as South Coast Wolves host the APIA-Leichhardt Tigers in Wollongong.

Wolves are seventh and a win would keep them there, which would be a remarkable recovery after a disastrous opening to the season that saw the likeable Richard Lloyd sacked and replaced by Nahuel Arrarte.

The new coach and former Marconi skipper has done a superb job and their potential mid-table finish is a testament to his ability.

APIA will close off a season of missed opportunities and this could be the day that they finally fire. They have missed so many chances this season and it has cost them dearly.

Blake Powell has been a regular goal scorer since his arrival, which is just reward for the huge amount of work that he gets through up front. Billy McColl's decision to move Franco Parisi to a deeper midfield position has proven shrewd and Parisi's pin point accuracy of passing keeps APIA going.

If APIA can hang on to Powell and find a number 10 to dovetail with Parisi, then they could be in business next season, but they will want to finish this one off with a good result.


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