Premiers Manly United eagerly await the winner of Sunday’s Qualifying Final between APIA Leichhardt Tigers and Bonnyrigg White Eagles, while Sutherland Sharks and Sydney Olympic meet on Saturday playing to keep their championship hopes alive.
Sutherland Sharks v Sydney Olympic, Saturday 3.30pm at Lilys Football Centre
Sutherland were one of the four clubs still in premiership contention last Sunday but the Sharks ultimately finished the regular season on an underwhelming note and finished fourth after a 2-0 defeat to APIA Leichhardt at Lambert Park.
As a result, Sutherland will play an in-form Olympic who have seemingly come from nowhere to claim a position in the top five. Olympic’s final aspirations looked on the verge of non-existent after the side’s 2-1 defeat to Bonnyrigg in mid-July but four wins in a row alongside some dreadful late-season form and misfortune from Blacktown City and Hakoah Sydney City East the Blues will arrive at Lilys Football Centre with a significant amount of confidence.
And with Sutherland finishing their campaign with just one win in their last four games and suffering from some key absences, Olympic could be poised to kick-start the finals series with an upset win.
John Theodoropoulos’ side are unbeaten against the Sharks this year, with Sydney Olympic defeating Sutherland 3-2 in Round Four for their first three points of the season and claiming a draw at Belmore Sports Ground in Round 15.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 12.30pm at Lilys Football Centre
Bonnyrigg White Eagles and APIA Leichhardt Tigers will face off looking to bolster their championship claim when the two sides meet at Lilys in the Qualifying Final on Sunday.
The White Eagles were possibly the biggest victors behind eventual Premiers Manly United on last Sunday’s exciting premiership hit out with Bonnyrigg advancing ahead of Sutherland into second place after a 3-2 comeback win against Wollongong Wolves at WIN Stadium.
Stephen Sigmund’s side had a late double from Kosta Zarafetas to thank after finishing the normal season as runners up, but with APIA Leichhardt Tigers entering the finals series unbeaten in their last seven games it will undoubtedly be a fiercely contested occasion.
Competition top scorer Duncan Stewart netted his 21st of the season in APIA’s clinical 2-0 win over Sutherland last Sunday, and the former Manly United has often proven to be a difference-maker for APIA Leichhardt this year.
However, there is match winning quality of similar ilk in the form of Bonnyrigg marksman Asmir Kadric, with the youngster enjoying several impressive first-team stints in recent weeks and scoring his eleventh goal in all grades last weekend against Wollongong.
-By Jacob Windon