It's finals time in PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW.
Match of the Round
Maitland Magpies v Edgeworth Eagles
2.30pm Saturday 20th August
Cooks Square Park
Round 8: Edgeworth 3 (Trott OG 12’, McBreen 34’, McLoughlin 49’) defeated Maitland 1 (B.Thompson 70’ p) at Cooks Square Park.
Round 17: Edgeworth 2 (Holz 38’, McBreen 68’) defeated Maitland 1 (L.Thornton 21’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Ladder: Maitland 4th (29pts) Edgeworth 1st (46)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Maitland – Lost Magic 2-0 (h), Lost Eagles 2-1 (a), Won Bears 3-2 (h)
Edgeworth – Won Rosebuds 3-1 (a), Won Magpies 2-1 (h) Won Phoenix 4-2 (h)
In saying it has been a long time since Maitland have been in the top grade Northern NSW finals is very much an understatement; it has been 16 years up to this point. This is where the drought ends though and they will take confidence from that finals showing way back in 2000. That season they finished in 4th, in the then five-team finals series.
They cleaned up Broadmeadow Magic 4-0 in week one to send them packing, but week two was where their journey ended when Hamilton Olympic knocked them out 4-1 at Darling Street. It may not be such a bad thing that they won’t be playing the boys from Darling Street over the next two weekends.
It has been a year to remember for the Magpies, although there have been some rocky patches, they have ridden the bumps that have resulted in them having an overall positive season.
This Saturday will present an exciting match up between the two sides. Maitland will meet a side who is at the peak of their powers. Since 1997, Maitland has been unable to beat the Eagles and their dominance could extend further, as results are hard to find after then.
Key: Defence. Maitland needs a good defensive performance over the next two weeks if they are to make the Grand Final for the first time since 1981.
Broadmeadow Magic v Hamilton Olympic
2.30pm, Sunday 21st August
Round 6: Hamilton 3 (Mooney 38’, Bird 45+1’, Bertos 70’ p) defeated Broadmeadow 1 (J.Virgili 7’) at Darling Street Oval.
Round 15: Broadmeadow 1 (Bradbury 37’) drew with Hamilton 1 (Bird 15’) at Magic Park.
Ladder: Broadmeadow 3rd (32) Hamilton 2nd (42)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Broadmeadow – Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 3-2 (a), Lost Phoenix 2-1 (a)
Hamilton – Won Blues 3-0 (a), Drew Phoenix 2-2 (h), Won Jets 1-0 (h)
Another nail-biting derby awaits us when Broadmeadow meet Hamilton over the next two weekends and if the next two clashes come even close to the excitement of their round 15 battle we are in for something special.
For the first time since the 2012 Grand Final, these two sides will meet. That afternoon was one Olympic fans would rather forget; it was when Damien Smith coached Magic and the side got the job done beating Mick Bolch’s Olmypic side, 4-1. The site of that Grand Final is where the two sides will meet this weekend.
A state which proves just how close these two sides are is their head to head statistics. Since 1995, the sides have met 54 times, of these matches, that have been played at Hamilton’s home ground, Olympic have won 12, there have been 5 draws and 10 wins to Broadmeadow. Away from Darling Street, the stats are identical, 12 wins for Hamilton, 5 draws and 10 wins for Broadmeadow. However something will have to give this weekend.
Of late though, it has been all Hamilton. Since round eight in 2013 – when Peter Haynes scored a goal that many will never forget – and Magic won 6-5 – the men from Broadmeadow have not tasted victory over their rivals from Olympic since. It has been seven matches and more than three years. Of those seven matches, Olympic has won five, along with two draws, which have come in the last four matches the two sides have played.
Key: Whoever takes their opportunities. It will be close over the next two weekends, and whoever wins the big moments will go through to the Grand Final.
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