There’s just over a month left in the NPL NSW Women’s competition and the battle continues this weekend in round 18.
Blacktown Spartans v NWS Koalas
Match of the round takes us to Blacktown Football Park on Sunday as the Blacktown Spartans host the North West Sydney Koalas.
This will be a true battle for a finals place.
Should the Spartans win, they’ll create a buffer between themselves and their weekend opponents and be one step closer to where they want to be.
Snapping a four-game winless run, the Spartans will come into this one confident.
Jaime Gomez would’ve been left frustrated after last week’s result, knowing that two wins would’ve put the Koalas into the top five.
A loss could mean the end of the Koalas hopes so motivation won’t be a problem, they certainly have the quality.
Illawarra Stingray v Manly United
At JJ Kelly Park on Sunday the Illawarra Stingrays host Manly United.
Two convincing wins against two good opponents have the Stingrays still in with a chance of the premiership.
They’ll have to be aware to the danger Manly pose though to avoid a surprise result.
Manly showed that even though they can’t make the five they won’t be lying down that easy.
This week they have an opportunity to mess up another teams run home.
Sydney Olympic v Bankstown City
Valentine Sports Park will see Sydney Olympic and Bankstown City clash.
Olympic’s win last week showed the class they have across the whole park.
A drop in concentration almost cost them and they’ll need to ensure they remain focused for the entire 90.
Bankstown’s hopes of finals football came crashing down on Sunday.
Still in with a mathematical chance though, Danny Abboud’s side will continue to push.
Northern Tigers v Emerging Jets
The Northern Tigers face off against the Emerging Jets at NTRA.
Second-placed Tigers continue their chase of Sydney Uni and need to keep the pressure up with another victory.
The Jets have caused a few upsets in the last few weeks and will hope to do the same on Sunday.
The young side are one of the most improved teams in the second half of the season.
North Shore Mariners v Football NSW Institute
Football NSW Institute travel to Northbridge Oval to take on the North Shore Mariners.
Two teams struggling will both feel they can take the spoils here.
The Mariners one and only win of the season came against the Institute and they’ll be confident they can do it again.
For the young Institute team, they’ve found the going tough in the second half of the season but will also come into this one with belief.
Macarthur Rams v Sydney University
In the final kick off on Sunday afternoon, Macarthur Rams will host Sydney University at Lynwood Park.
Macarthur’s loss last week was a real kick in the teeth for their finals hopes.
They must take all three points or face the possibility of falling further away from fifth spot.
For Uni, it is simple. Win all your games to the end and you’ll be premiers.
Although it won’t be easy against the reigning Champions and Alex Epakis’ team will be well aware of that.
By – Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s writer