This weekend will see Preliminary finals for the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup, Black Diamond Plate and Reserve Grade competitions as well as the Grand Final of the GE Women’s competitions. Fixtures and Previews are listed below.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

No 1 Sportsground

Newcastle City

vs

Nelson Bay

Women’s Grand Final

4.00pm

Cardiff

vs

Nelson Bay

Black Diamond Cup Preliminary Final

1.30pm

Wyong Lakes

vs

Singleton

Black Diamond Plate  Preliminary Final

11.30am

Cardiff

vs

Warners Bay

Reserve Grade Preliminary Final

9.30am

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?a=ROUND&c=0-916-0-435916-0&pool=1001&round=2

It will be a sense of de javu on Saturday when Newcastle City and Nelson Bay meet for the third time in the BDAFL GE Women’s Grand Final at No 1 Sportsground.

Since the women’s competition commenced in 2015 these two teams have contested each Grand Final, with one premiership apiece, and such has been their dominance in this competition neither team has lost to any other BDAFL Women’s
teams.

Nelson Bay are the reigning premiers having defeated Newcastle City in a thriller last year, finishing the season undefeated and this is a feat Newcastle City will be trying to achieve on Saturday.

The Blues have been the dominant Women’s team of 2017 and have rarely been troubled during the season racking up big wins on a weekly basis and enter the finals on the back of a 150 point win over Maitland.

They have class all over the field and a forward line led by the leagues leading goalkicker Meaghan MacDonald, Sarah Halvorsen and Ash Hallyar which would no doubt be giving Nelson Bay coach, Lauren Cooper many sleepless nights. Kate
Haolland and Hayley West will no doubt be two defenders Cooper will be giving defensive duties to.

The key to containing the starstudded forward line will be starve them of possession and this will mean the Nelson Bay midfielder led by Pippa Smyth, Lisa Steane and Sophie Balcombe ensuring they win the clearances which will not be
easy against the Blues midfield led by Kirsty Ferguson, Paige Mathewson and Amy Gillingham.

Up forward Nelson Bay will be looking to Eliza Smyth, Jemma Astley and Jess to capitalise on all their scoring opportunities, which is a must.

Nelson Bay progressed through to the Grand Final on the back of a 55 point win over Gosford last week.

These two teams have met twice already this year with the Blues winning by 85 points at Nelson Bay and by 51 points in the return encounter.

All signs are pointing towards a Newcastle City win, however past form means nothing in Grand Finals and the history between these two teams should mean that this game is a cracker.

Good luck to both teams.

The Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Preliminary Final takes place this Saturday at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground. The Cardiff Hawks, after being well beaten by Terrigal Avoca in the Second Semi Final, line up against a Nelson Bay outfit who somehow contrived an extraordinary upset over Newcastle City in the First Semi Final last Saturday.

Cardiff coach Nathan Harkness will be sweating on the return of backline general Zac Metcalfe, who has been away with work commitments in the Northern Territory. Metcalfe leads an experienced backline featuring Liam Gibson, Chad Mayo and Callum Spoor. The Hawks defence were worked over by Terrigal Avoca last week and will look to return to their best against a suddenly resurgent Marlins team.

The Hawks will look to Tom Yensch to lead the way whether it be via winning the tapsto give quality service to his on-ballers in Marcus DeLeur, Simon O'Brien, Jack Lennon and Matt Vukovic, or to sneak forward and kick goals. Burly forward Cam Jones and the dangerous Josh Murphy will worry the Marlins undersized back six with his size and strength, although in saying that the Nelosn Bay defence led by Chris Eddy, Ben Grace and David Wood were superb last week
against Newcastle City.

After a frustrating and inconsistent home and away season the Marlins flew out of the gates with four quick goals in the first quarter last week to set up the win and coach Sean McGrath will be looking for a similar start this week.

The Marlins are fully capable of kicking large scores, with Luke Price, twins Jeremy & Ben Eddy, Aaron Clayden and Jayden Rymer all dangerous inside the forward 50 metre arc. A lack of a true spearhead can sometimes be exposed, so expect to see Rymer and Price rotate between fullforward and ruck-rover all day.

Follower Todd Thornton has been a consistent performer all season, and the return from work placement of Harry Freund adds class to a solid Nelson Bay midfield

In the Black Diamond Plate Semi Finals on Sunday at Adelaide St Oval, minor premiers Wyong Lakes, beaten comprehensively by Maitland in the Second Semi Final, will play a very confident Singleton after a superb Roosters back six kept Newcastle City to just one goal in their First Semi Final.

Wyong Lakes will be sweating on the return of Justin McPhan and Chris Koop-Folkes from injury as they try to avoid going out of the Finals in straight sets. The Roosters, with sublime centreman Andrew Scott in great form, will be very hard to stop after disposing of Maitland, Gosford and Newcastle City in the past three weeks, away from home.

In the Reserve Grade Preliminary Final, minor premiers Cardiff, after being well beaten by Killarney Vale last week, face near neighbours Warners Bay in a great Newcastle Derby. Cardiff didn’t capitalise on the week off and now face a confident Warners Bay, who raced out of the blocks last week in eliminating Terrigal Avoca.