Who will prevail as PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW enters the second leg of the two Semi Finals?
Match of The Round
Broadmeadow Magic v Hamilton Olympic
6.30pm, Saturday 27th August at Darling Street Oval
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.
Semi Final (1st Leg): Broadmeadow Magic 3 (Haynes 49’, Bradbury 82’, 90+5’) defeated Hamilton Olympic 1 (Bird 36’) at Magic Park
Where they finished: Broadmeadow 3rd (32) Hamilton 2nd (42)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Hamilton – Lost Magic 3-1 (a), Won Blues 3-0 (a), Drew Phoenix 2-2 (h)
Broadmeadow – Won Olympic 3-1 (h), Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 3-2 (a)
Matches between rivals Hamilton Olympic and Broadmeadow Magic are always filled with drama and last weekend’s clash was no different. At the end of the day, it was the home side who won the big moments, with Luke Virgili’s clearance off the line right on half-time going down as the turning point in the weekend’s clash.
While leading 3-1 at the moment it will be interesting to see what kind of game plan Broadmeadow bring into the clash. A two goal lead is also a deceptive one, will Broadmeadow play to build their advantage and finish off the tie early in the clash, potentially leaving themselves vulnerable in defence? Or will they try to defend their lead, which could allow Olympic to get on a roll and rack up some goals? It will be intriguing to see.
The last two matches Olympic have played against Broadmeadow has seen the same old story for the men in blue. The inability to take their chances. In the 1-1 draw in round 15 they had enough chances at the back end of the clash to win the match and on the weekend they should have led by more at the break.
The stat that matters for the weekend is that Broadmeadow have never won a finals match at Darling Street Oval. From the three matches they have played, they have had two losses, 4-2 in 1998, 3-1 in 2012, and one draw 1-1 in 1999, which Olympic won eventually 7-6 on penalties. While a Hamilton win won’t necessarily guarantee their place in the Grand Final, they will have plenty of confidence playing at a ground where they have lost just one match of their last 21.
Key: Can Magic end their barren finals run at Darling Street, or will Hamilton continue their dominance at their home ground?
Edgeworth Eagles v Maitland Magpies
2pm Saturday 27th August at Jack McLaughlin Oval
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.
Semi Final (1st Leg): Maitland 2 (M.Thompson p 37’, Clarke 69’) drew with Edgeworth 2 (McBreen 21’, Holz 31’) at Cooks Square Park
Where they Finished: Maitland 4th (29pts) Edgeworth 1st (46)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Edgeworth – Drew Magpies 2-2 (a), Won Rosebuds 3-1 (a), Won Magpies 2-1 (h)
Maitland – Drew Eagles 2-2 (h), Lost Magic 2-0 (h), Lost Eagles 2-1 (a)
It really is incredible how a finals match can totally change a contest. Outplayed by Edgeworth in both previous matches this season in rounds eight and 11 the Magpies found their groove in the second half at Cooks Square Park on the weekend.
Having just one draw and 15 losses in their last 16 clashes dating back to 1997 it would have been easy for the Magpies to crumble in their first finals match since 2000, and it certainly looked that way after 31 minutes when Dylan Holz smashed Edgeworth’s second goal across Matt Trott and into the left corner. But, the Magpies fought hard and were rewarded with a Ryan Clarke equaliser midway through the second half.
So, to this weekend... Edgeworth will feel confident at home given the pitch will be wider, after Maitland cunningly brought in the sidelines on Saturday and they won’t have to contend with the wind which is a common feature at Cooks Square Park. But, in saying that, Matt Comerford returns for Maitland and even though he has a broken rib it will be hard to see him not playing, given the wider pitch.
Key: We know Edgeworth can score goals from anywhere on the park, but can Maitland’s attack fire again to send them to a Grand Final?
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