Men's Premier League - Title Race Run-in
With just a few weeks remaining in the 2017 NSFA Men’s Premier League season, there are still three teams with a chance of lifting the title – West Pymble, Lindfield and North Sydney.
We take a look at each side’s remaining fixtures and what results they need to taste premiership glory.
West Pymble – 15 games played, 33 points, 25+ goal difference
Final matches: Kissing Point (H), Lindfield (A), Old Barker (H)
The defending premiers are in the driver’s seat, if Greg Fuchs’ side win their final three matches they will lift the trophy regardless of other results.
However, the road to victory is fraught with potential stumbling blocks, starting with a visit from Kissing Point on Saturday. Kisso shocked Lindfield last week in a 5-3 win at Auluba and produced a similar effort against West Pymble in round eight.
A showdown with Lindfield follows at Charles Bean Oval, where even a point would perhaps be enough to keep their closest challengers at bay, but round nine’s defeat in the reverse fixture means that either side has what it takes to take the points.
West Pymble close out the season the way they started it, taking on Old Barker at Montview. That fixture ended up a 6-1 rout, but Barker could enter the match needing three points to avoid relegation, depending on other results.
Lindfield – 16 games played, 32 points, 35+ goal difference
Final matches: Old Barker (A), West Pymble (H)
The team in navy suffered a heavy setback last week with a 5-3 loss to Kissing Point, after three straight wins had firmly announced their title credentials.
Now dependant on other results, Brendan Dalton’s side simply has to focus on winning their remaining fixtures if they are to have a chance of lifting the trophy.
Old Barker will be looking to secure an upset on Saturday afternoon at Koola, as they look to secure their top flight status amongst a crowded bottom half of the table. However, as their recent wins over Mount Colah and Chatswood show, Lindfield are more than capable of notching up large scores if they are given the chance.
Round 18’s match against West Pymble at Charles Bean will be the make-or-break point of the season. Sporting an undefeated record at the “Theatre of Beans” this season, Lindfield will have to continue that trend or risk handing their opposition the title on their home turf.
North Sydney United – 16 games played, 32 points, 35+ goal difference
Final matches: Chatswood Rangers (H), Willoughby Dalleys (A)
Like Lindfield, North Sydney are also relying on a slip-up from West Pymble if they are to become champions. Two tricky fixtures remain for the red and blacks, starting with a showpiece match at North Sydney Oval against Chatswood.
Rangers took the points in a 3-1 victory in round eight and have secured impressive results against Lindfield (4-3 win) and West Pymble (1-1 draw) at various points in the season. Although they have struggled for consistency, a fully-firing Chatswood side could prove tough to beat.
A final round clash against Willoughby Dalleys will also test Joe Liddle’s side- despite losing their last three, Dalleys have been fiercely competitive every week and are led by a strong core of experienced players.
North Sydney are one of the most potent attacking sides in the competition, but all parts of their game need to be at their best if they are to have a chance of usurping their fellow title challengers.