NSFA Cup Day Preview
The 2017 winter football season concludes this weekend with the annual NSFA Cup Day, to be held for the first time at North Turramurra Recreation Area.
There are six finals on the program; starting with the Treasurer’s Shield at 8:30 and climaxing with the NSFA Cup at 6:00pm. Seven clubs are represented today with Lindfield, Northbridge, North Sydney United, Berowra and West Pymble each providing two teams. May the best teams win!
U14 TREASURER’S SHIELD 8:30
The first match of the day sees Lindfield 14A and Northbridge 14S battling it out for the Treasurer’s Shield. This is the 38th time that this tournament has been contested and Hornsby Heights and Lindfield have picked up the most wins with 7 apiece. Northbridge is third with 5 wins. Northbridge is the defending champion however, between them and Lindfield they have won 9 of the last 11.
These teams met each other twice during the season in Division One, with Northbridge winning 2-0 in one match and a 2-2 draw in the other. Another close contest is expected between 2 strong and skilful sides.
U16 VICE-PRESIDENT’S SHIELD 10:15
The second match on the program is the Vice President’s Shield. The two clubs that have progressed to the final have experienced contrasting fortunes in this tournament. Berowra enters the 38th final as the most successful club with 6 titles and as defending champions, while North Sydney United are looking to take home the Shield for the first time. The teams met three times in Division One in 2017 for 2 wins to North Sydney and 1 to Berowra. A close match is expected however, Berowra’s win was a 5-0 triumph at Berowra Oval on August 5th, so anything is possible.
GWFC GIRLS’ UNDER 18 SHIELD 11:45
Today is the third time that this tournament has been conducted and for the third time, two brand new clubs will contest the final. This tournament is open to teams in Girl’s Under 16 and Under 18 that did not enter the State Cup in the same season. Asquith G18K and Kissing Point G18A are the combatants.
Asquith knocked over G18 Premiers Hornsby Heights and another G18 team in North Sydney United on the way to the final, while Kissing Point knocked over G16 Division Two Premiers Northbridge C and North Sydney United G16A who were third behind Northbridge in that division. These teams met twice during the G18 competition with Asquith coming out on top times both (1-0 & 6-3). However, only three points separated the teams in the final table so another close match is expected.
U18 PRESIDENT’S SHIELD 1:30
Next match to take centre stage is the President’s Shield. The final, the 40th in this tournament, sees Berowra A up against Lindfield X. As a club Lindfield is the most successful in this tournament with five titles, including three since 2011. Berowra has won this tournament on two occasions, the last time being in 2010.
While the Under 18 Division One competition saw a run-away winner in Kissing Point A, positions two through five were separated by a single point. These teams played each other twice during the season for a 3-2 win to Lindfield X and a 1-1 draw in the second match. Berowra A finished the season in second place with 25 points while Lindfield X finished 5th, just 1 point behind Berowra A. Another close and exciting match is on the cards.
RICK CLOSE CUP 3:30
The 19th edition of the Rick Close Cup for Senior Mixed Over 35 and Over 45 teams sees North Sydney United Red up against West Pymble. West Pymble has dominated this tournament with 13 wins, with North Sydney United the only other club to win more than one title. The Cup is named after West Pymble Life Member Rick Close, who was the prime driving force for getting the tournament off and running.
In the closest Over 35 Division One competition in many years, North Sydney Red finished third although on the last day of the season they still were in the running to win the title, which went, in the end to Lindfield. Perennial high-flyers West Pymble had a poor season by their standards finishing well off the pace in sixth position, 14 points behind North Sydney. Matches between the two sides finished in a 1-1 draw in Round 5 and a 4-0 win to North Sydney in Round 14. West Pymble are Cup specialists while North Sydney won the final of this tournament last year so it promises to be a willing and hard fought encounter.
NSFA CUP 6:00
The final match of the day is the 50th NSFA Cup. First played in 1968, the inaugural winners were Wahroonga, repeating the feat again in 1969. The trophy that is presented to the winner was donated by Angus & Coote. Kissing Point, winners of two of the last three finals, are the most successful club with eight titles in total.
In what has been an unusual tournament this year, the final will be fought out by West Pymble B and Northbridge Red. West Pymble B is one of 2 teams entered by West Pymble containing players from their Premier League squad while Northbridge Red finished second to Northbridge White in Division Two. In the quarter-finals just 2 teams from the Premier League remained while only one, West Pymble B, then progressed to the semi-finals. The West Pymble club has won the NSFA Cup six times and will be keen to bridge the gap to old rivals Kissing Point. Northbridge in contrast has never played in a final of the Cup, let alone won it before, so they will be keen to make history.
West Pymble won Premier League first grade this season for the 3rd successive time and in Reserve Grade they were runner-up to Lindfield. Northbridge Red battled it out with Northbridge White in the race for the All Age 2 premiership in 2017. Finishing second to the “Whites” but ineligible for promotion due to the “one-team per club” rule the “Reds” will be keen to put up a strong showing against Premier League opposition. It promises to be a great final.
Written by Damian Miles
NSFA Competitions Manager