2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Grand Finals Preview

The Grand Finals of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competitions will be played this Saturday  Preview below..

Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL

Saturday – 1 September

Newcastle No 1 Sportsground

Terrigal Avoca

vs

Newcastle City

Black Diamond Cup

2.15pm

Newcastle City Stars

Vs

Wyong Lakes

Women’s

12.00pm

Terrigal Avoca

vs

Newcastle City

Black Diamond Plate

  9.45am


You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Grand Finals Preview

The Black Diamond Cup Grand Final between Terrigal Avoca and Newcastle City is the fourth Grand Final match-up between the two League heavyweights in the last six years, with the scorecard reading 2-1 Terrigal Avoca’s way so far.

City’s form over the second half of the season and into the Finals has been superb. Cam Keast and Chris Jackson form a damaging 1-2 ruck combination, veteran centre Mitchell Knight does the hard inand under work and Mac O’Malley, together with Conor Haswell, chime in from the backline on regular occasions.

Wingers Max Quinlan and Liam Dwyer have been in great touch in the Finals, Dwyer’s run and carry proving devastating at times and youngster Quinlan thriving after being moved from the forward line.

City’s backline was outstanding up against a tough opponent in Cardiff last week. Young star Aidan Watling showed everyone how much he has improved in a short period of time, his speed and delivery a highlight. Left-footed trio Ethan Durbridge (one of the most improved players in the League), Ian Baker and Luke Rawnsley play smart football and launch many of City’s attacking forays.

Patrick Gillingham has some real weapons around him, with the League’s leading goalkicker working in harmony with Cade Triffitt and Jackson Crawford up front, and with the Keast-Jackson combination at stoppages.

Warners Bay enjoyed some success on Sunday in tagging both James Webster and Chris Bishop. Mac O’Malley may get first crack at Webster and a possible Bishop-Knight match-up is most intriguing.

The Panthers, with Sam Ellis back after a Scandinavian sojourn, have the height to worry City’s backline, especially in the forecast 22-degree, sunny weather. Bishop can go tall with Ellis, Pete Van Dam, Brendan Harper and Dan Heuston, balanced by the class of Mark Skuse across half-forward and key small forward Brandon Thomas out of the square.

Jayson Van Dam leads the Panthers backline and he is a possible match-up for Keast, together with Will McKellar. Corbin Bond had a great duel with Jack Hardman on Sunday, but whether he has the height to mark Gillingham is an interesting quandary for Bishop.

Young ruckman Jasper Davis has a great leap, expect Keast in particular to try to body up on him at stoppages.

Some Grand Final Stats for these two dominant BDAFK+L sides of a generation:

Premierships Won

Newcastle City 7 (league high – last won in 2016)
Terrigal Avoca 5 (last won in 2017)

Grand Finals

Terrigal Avoca 7 th consecutive Grand Final – 4 wins & 2 losses
Newcastle City 10 in the past 12 years – 6 wins & 3 losses

All in all, this Grand Final has all the portents of being an epic. Match-winners on either side, superb backlines, dangerous forward lines, quality from end to end on both teams’ lists. Terrigal Avoca will have a light week on the track after a bruising clash with the Bulldogs on Sunday, whilst City will look forward to yet another Grand Final at their home ground, Newcastle No.1 Sportsground.

In the GE Womens Competition Grand Final, the Newcastle City Stars, who have fought a late-season dip in form and several injuries to key players Paige Mathewson, Roisin Ronan Yates and Amy Morschel, face up the tough-tackling, physical and defensive-minded Wyong Lakes Magpies in what is sure to be a rugged and fascinating encounter.

The Stars gun four players in Sarah Halvorsen, Ashlee Hayllar, Tayla Braithwaite and Kirsty Ferguson all stood up magnificently against Killarney Vale on Sunday and will need to do so against a Wyong Lakes side that remarkably kept Minor Premiers Nelson Bay to a solitary behind in Saturday’s Preliminary Final. Halvorsen was brilliant on Sunday and could have the Magpies centre-half back Sarah Ball for company at the first bounce. Hayllar, who was the attention of sustained physical attention from the Bombers, has a key role in delivering to Halvorsen and also kicking goals herself.

Braithwaite had a quiet first half last week after missing the Stars semi-final at Maitland but sprang into action in the second half, her footspeed and desperate tackling a feature of a very good Stars effort.

Ferguson, a vastly-experienced ruck, will have her hands full with the high-leaping Magpies ruck Kanesha Murray. Ferguson picked up countless possessions on Sunday playing a kick behind play, and the Stars will need another big effort from the veteran, who will try to body up on Murray and negate Murray’s terrific leap and two-handed taps to Alexandra Pearce and Rachael Potts. Morschel is an outside chance of playing after several weeks out with a leg injury.

Wyong Lakes’ backline is outstanding, led by 150-gamer Emily Bohan and Ball. Halvorsen and Stephanie Miniter, both tall forwards, may expose the Magpies lack of height in the backline, perhaps leading to Monique Maddalena or Rebecca Ives spending time down back.

Alexandra Pearce has hit a purple-patch of form at the right time, shrugging off a persistent knee issue to dominate in the centre against Nelson Bay. Pearce’s tackling and bumping was very strong against the Marlins, and she will need a repeat performance, alongside the abrasive Potts.

Aleece Williams, Ives and Alannah Nicholson must kick goals for the Magpies alongside the veteran Maddalena.

There are two key factors in this match; can the Magpies kick a winning score (they kicked 3.1.19 in the Preliminary Final and won comfortably) and can Halvorsen be contained? It promises to be a thrilling, close and tough Grand Final, commencing at 12 noon.

In the Black Diamond Plate Grand Final commencing at 9.45am, undefeated Terrigal Avoca take on Newcastle City in a clash between clearly the best two sides in the Plate Competition, with City’s only loss being to the Panthers.

Both sides are stacked deep of players with plenty of Cup experience, with the Panthers able to turn to Ethan Formby, Jackson Farquhar, Ken Szaladzinski and talented youngster Jason Roach, alongside Plate stalwarts Michael & Matthew Studdert, Sam Sirilo and Luke Bury. The Panthers gave up just seven behinds to the Bombers in Sunday’s Preliminary Final, their defensive structures very similar to their dominant Cup squad, with Formby and his back six colleagues creating two and three-onone marking contests whenever Killarney Vale bombed it in long.

Newcastle City will be happy with a seven-day rest leading into the Grand Final, after a bruising and rugged Preliminary Final against Muswellbrook on Saturday. City’s forward line of Kevin McDonald, Brodie Jones and Abe Gibson were very dangerous on Saturday and will cause the Panthers back six plenty of problems. McDonald got better as the game went along and Gibson’s speed and marking were a feature of a polished City performance. Asheet Tak, Mitch Williams and Ben Conquest will need to produce their very best performances if City are going to upset the Minor Premiers.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Preliminary-finals Preview

The Preliminary-finals of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competitions will be played this weekend. The winners will progress to next week’s Grand Final. Preview below..

BDAFL

Saturday – 25 August

No 1 Sportsground

Cardiff

vs

Newcastle City

Black Diamond Cup

1.55pm

Live
Stream

Nelson Bay

Vs

Wyong Lakes

Women’s

12.00pm

 

Newcastle City

vs

Muswellbrook

Black Diamond Plate

10.00am

 

Sunday – 26 August

Adelaide St Oval

Terrigal Avoca

vs

Warners Bay

Black Diamond Cup

1.55pm

Live
Stream

Newcastle City Stars

Vs

Killarney Vale

Women’s

12.00pm

 

Terrigal Avoca

vs

Killarney Vale

Black Diamond Plate

10.00am

 

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Preliminary Final Preview

The Preliminary Finals of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup take place this Saturday and Sunday, with fierce local rivals Cardiff & Newcastle City set to lock horns at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground, then Minor Premiers Terrigal Avoca, fresh after a week off, do battle against Warners Bay at Adelaide St Oval in Tumbi Umbi on Sunday.

The return of stars Marcus DeLeur (Cardiff) and Conor Haswell (Newcastle City) will add extra dimension to a potentially sensational Preliminary Final between the Hawks and the Blues. DeLeur took an extra week to recover from a slight shoulder injury at Don Small Oval on Sunday, whilst the suspended Haswell was a keen onlooker as his colleagues comfortably defeated Killarney Vale at Max McMahon Oval on Saturday.

Cardiff will be pleased to have come away from their semi-final clash with Wyong Lakes with a solid victory, in the absence of DeLeur and Zac Metcalfe. Jack Pratt and Tom Yensch were outstanding at Tacoma, Yensch winning a great battle with the Magpies’ Brayden Tos and Pratt picking up countless touches in the backline in his best performance of the season.

Simon O’Brien showed real dash on Sunday and his return to top form could not have been better timed. Jack Lennon, kept quiet on Sunday, will be primed for a big performance on the ball and across half-forward.

One of Cardiff’s big match-ups will be who defends City’s forward/ruckman Cam Keast when Keast plays across half-forward. Metcalfe’s expected absence means that David O’Donnell or Liam Gibson could man up on Keast, with Yensch possibly sitting a kick behind the play in a bid to quell Keast’s influence.

Pat Gillingham and Cade Triffitt kicked six goals between them last Saturday in Rutherford and will look for a repeat performance on the significantly shorter No.1 this week. Mitchell Knight was outstanding against Killarney Vale in the centre and his expected duel with DeLeur and Matt Vukovich will be pivotal to this contest.

City’s gun backline, led by Mac O’Malley, Ethan Durbridge, Ian Baker and the returning Haswell will look to rebound across half-back and deliver to the leading Gillingham and Keast. Young stars Aidan Watling, Reed van Huisstede, Max Quinlan and Hamish Thompson will look to use their pace to put pressure on the more experienced Cardiff outfit.

Terrigal Avoca have taken all before them after an early season blip against Cardiff, and enter this Sunday’s Preliminary Final at Adelaide St Oval as firm favourites.

Coach Chris Bishop has at least a dozen players capable of rotating through the midfield, and the rapid development of ruckman Jasper Davis will give the Panthers followers plenty of opportunities to produce clearances and quality ball to key forward Brandon Thomas and Pete Van Dam.

Bishop’s mantra this season has been to defend in numbers and in a group, a tactic that has seen the Panthers give up only 438 points across 16 games, a remarkable average of only 27 points a game. Led by Jayson Van Dam, Corbin Bond and Will McKellar, the Panthers back six will again work toward keeping Warners Bay below 50 points and providing their followers and forwards with a great opportunity to once again qualify for a BDAFL Grand Final.

Jack Grimmond, knocked out in his last game, has been the form rover of the season, together with the Bulldogs’ Matt Spinks. The Grimmond-Spinks battle at ground level will be a beauty, particularly if the forecasted wet weather eventuates. The class and quality of James Webster and Bishop in the middle will be an interesting challenge for Warners Bay, who will have seen Webster’s recent demolition of Cardiff when the Hawks elected not to place a tag on the Triple Elliott Davey Medallist.

Warners Bay, fresh off their first finals win in a decade, will need another big performance from the lightning-quick forward Jack Hardman. Hardman proved the difference against a dogged Singleton last week, and he presents an interesting challenge for the Panthers, as Corbin Bond is an ideal match-up size-wise for Hardman, but apart from Grimmond, there is no-one in the Panthers line-up that can run with Hardman over distance.

Jake Roach is gradually getting back to his best after an injury-interrupted season that has seen his brother Luke blossom into a very capable utility, switching between centre-half forward and centrehalf back. Ruckman Ben Crawley, superb last week, will have a mighty tussle with the high-leaping Jasper Davis, and the thought of Ben Hunter and Chris Bishop spending time on each other during the game is mouth-watering.

This game come down to whether Warners Bay can break the shackles of the Panthers brilliant defensive structures and kick 10-12 goals, given the expected wet weather on Sunday as well. Long bombs into the Panthers defensive 50m arc simply don’t work against Terrigal Avoca, who often create two on one and sometimes three on one aerial contests in a bid to prevent scoring by their opposition.

In the GE Womens Preliminary Finals, Minor Premiers Nelson Bay, struggling with injuries but with match-winners in Kate Holland, Molly Simpson and Sophie Balcombe, do battle with a confident Wyong Lakes outfit boosted by the return of ruck Rebecca Ives and the great from of Saran Ball and Alexandra Pearce.

Killarney Vale welcome the Newcastle City Stars to Adelaide St Oval, with this match sure to go down to the wire. The Bombers welcome the return of the Paige sisters whilst a depleted Stars outfit will be very happy to have Tayla Braithwaite and Stephanie Miniter available this week.

In the Black Diamond Plate, Newcastle City welcome a confident Muswellbrook Cats to No.1 Sportsground on Saturday, whilst Killarney Vale host Minor Premiers Terrigal Avoca at Adelaide St Oval.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Semi-final Preview

The semi-final of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competitions will be played this weekend. All semi-finals are elimination. Preview below..

Saturday – 18 August

Weeraman Field

Singleton

vs

Warners Bay

Black Diamond Cup

2.00pm

Killarney Vale

Vs

Singleton

Women’s

12.00pm

Muswellbrook

vs

The Entrance Bateau Bay

Black Diamond Plate

10.00am

 Max McMahon Oval

Newcastle City

vs

Killarney Vale

Black Diamond Cup

2.00pm

Newcastle City Stars

Vs

Maitland

Women’s

12.00pm

Newcastle City

vs

Warners Bay

Black Diamond Plate

10.00am

Saturday – 19 August

Don Small Oval

Cardiff

vs

Wyong Lakes

Black Diamond Cup

2.00pm

Wyong Lakes

Vs

Newcastle City Nova’s

Women’s

12.00pm

Cardiff

vs

Killarney Vale

Black Diamond Plate

10.00am

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Semi Final Preview

It’s down to the business end of the season this weekend as Week 1 of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup Finals Series takes place in Muswellbrook and Maitland on Saturday and then Tacoma on Sunday.

Warners Bay and Singleton head to Weeraman Field in Muswellbrook for the 4 v 5 clash in the Top 7 structure.

The Roosters had the Bye last week, and the opportunity of getting over niggling injuries at this time of year won’t have been wasted by Coach Andrew Scott and his men. Scott and his men got over the top of the Bulldogs early in the season at Rose Point Park, so the Roosters won’t have any fears about what the Bulldogs offer. Scott and star on-baller Sam Brasington have been superb in the second half of the season as their fitness and experience have started to make a major impact.

The Roosters know they have to kick 12 goals or more to trouble the Bulldogs. The Roosters’ defence is well organized, but it is up front where Singleton must make an impact if they are to make the Preliminary Final. The enigmatic, mercurial Jackson Kolatchew must have a big game, possibly matched on Oscar Anderson or Luke Roach. Veteran full-forward Travis Bates will probably have League backman Linc Stewart for company, whilst speedy youngster Cody Carroll will be needed for at least two goals in the small forward position, possibly rotating with Alex Mitchell.

The Bulldogs, who went hard at Cardiff last week in a solid preparation for the Finals, will have League Rover Matt Spinks back after missing the last two games with a minor leg injury, Spinks’ combination with Ben Hunter and Jake Roach will be pivotal in this semi-final, up against the simply outstanding duo of Brasington and Scott. The idea of centreman Hunter and Scott on one another, both very strong over the ball, will be worth the price of admission below. Bulldogs Coach Marty Reiman may elect to have one of his taggers perform a run-with role on either Brasington or Scott.

Jake Roach looms as an important part of Bulldogs arsenal. Roach works extremely well with Hunter, often benefitting from Hunter’s contested ball gets. When he is on, Roach’s long kicking and delivery are dangerous, with Luke McKenna, brother Luke Roach and the lightning-quick Jack Hardman presenting match-up issues for the Roosters.

Newcastle City & Killarney Vale, the 3 v 6 clash, travel to Max McMahon Oval in Rutherford for their clash.

City have been excellent in the second half of the season, and produced a reasonable performance against high-flying Minor Premiers Terrigal Avoca last week.

CIty have a core of vastly experienced players in the midfield and across half-back, with their back line sure to enjoy the wide open spaces of the revamped Max McMahon Oval. Conor Haswell, one of the top 5 players in the League, has spent time in the centre and across half back all year, adding the midfield to his already impressive resume. Veterans Matt Enright and Mitchell Knight will provide lots of contested ball, and their match-up with Josh Mifsud will be a beauty.

Ruckman-forward Cam Keast, a star all year for City, gives Bombers ruckman Tim Oosterhoff “my biggest challenge, he is very strong and uses his body really well.” Oosterhoff, taller and leaner than Keast, will look to avoid contact in ruck contests with the burly City follower, with Killarney Vale needing quality ball if they are any chance of upsetting their long-term rivals. Keast will also spend time up front in cahoots with Patrick Gillingham, the 2018 BDAFL leading goalkicker, who has had his best year in Navy Blue and White.

Bombers Coach Scott Reed has some interesting decisions midweek as he makes plans for Killarney Vale’s welcome return to the finals. Bryce Singleton will play at full-forward, freeing up Reed to spend time on the ball in combination with Mifsud and Oosterhoff. Much will depend on Killarney Vale’s back six, led by Brendan Lewis, Lachlan Waters and Ben Simpson, if the Bombers are to shut down City and produce a big upset on a hard and fast Max McMahon Oval.

Cardiff and Wyong Lakes have the 2 v 7 Sunday Semi Final clash at Don Small Oval in Tacoma.

Cardiff have struggled in recent weeks, going down to Terrigal Avoca and Newcastle City and being pushed all the way by Warners Bay. The Hawks have quality across the park and will need to be at their best up against a revitalized Magpies outfit, who have flown into the finals with wins over the Dockers and Tigers and who will also being playing in front of the faithful at Don Small Oval.

Match-ups in this clash are huge, particularly in the midfield. Cardiff’s Tom Yensch and Wyong Lakes’ Brayden Tos will have a massive battle in the ruck. Yensch has has a consistent second half of the season and, like Tos, plays as an extra ruck-rover. Tos was sublime against Gosford last week, putting the ball on a platter for the experienced Lee Moore and Tim Hillman. Yensch provides a huge challenge for Tos, with both men not afraid to get in an under, their hard tackling a feature of their games.

Moore’s battle with Simon O’Brien and Matt Vukovich will also be significant. Moore is a wily customer with great foot skills and excellent hands, whilst O’Brien roves very well to Yensch and has a very quick first 10 metres to enable him to create clearances.

Centres Marcus DeLeur and Tim Hillman provide the final intriguing match-up. Both men are tall followers, with DeLeur able to provide back up ruck duties to his already impressive skill set. Hillman is rated highly by the Magpies gives Tos a great second option to Moore. Hillman will need to be marked closely when he moves forward, as he delivers very well to Justin McPhan and Jared Cross. McPhan had a great tussle with Scott Burkinshaw last week and whether Liam Gibson or David O’Donnell are tall enough to counter McPhan provides an interesting quandary for Hawks Coach Nathan Harkness.

Terrigal Avoca has the week off after finishing the Home & Away season as Minor Premiers.

In the GE Womens Competition, Killarney Vale, now very much in the Premiership mix after a series of injuries suffered by Nelson Bay & the Newcastle City Stars, head to Muswellbrook to take on firsttime finallists Singleton; the Newcastle City Stars play hosts Maitland in Rutherford; and on Sunday, Wyong Lakes welcome the Newcastle City Novas to Don Small Oval.

In the Black Diamond Plate, great rival Muswellbrook and The Entrance Bateau Bay do battle at Weeraman Field; Newcastle City enter their match against Warners Bay as strong favorites at Rutherford; and on Sunday, Killarney Vale makes the short trip to Tacoma to take on Cardiff.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 18 Preview

The final Home & Away round of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competitions will be played this Saturday. Preview below..

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Gosford vs Wyong Lakes

Adcock Park

2.00pm

BarTV Match of the Week

Maitland vs Lake Macquarie

Max McMahon Oval

2.00pm

 

Nelson Bay vs Killarney Vale

Dick Burwell Oval

2.00pm

 

Cardiff vs Warners Bay

Hillsborough Oval

2.00pm

 

Newcastle City vs Terrigal Avoca

No 1 Sportsground

3.00pm

 

Singleton - Bye

     

GE Black Diamond Women’s

Newcastle City Nova’s vs Lake Macquarie

No 1 Sportsground

9.00am

Maitland vs Warners Bay

Max McMahon Oval

  10.00am

Gosford vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Adcock Park

12.00pm

Nelson Bay vs Wyong Lakes

Dick Burwell Oval

12.00pm

Muswellbrook vs Singleton

Weeraman Field

12.00pm

Port Stephens vs Cardiff

Ferodale Park

  12.00pm

Wallsend- West Newcastle  vs Killarney Vale

Bill Elliott Oval

12.00pm

Newcastle City Stars vs Terrigal Avoca

No 1 Sportsground

1.00pm

Black Diamond Plate

Gosford vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Adcock Park

10.00am

Nelson Bay vs Wyong Lakes

Dick Burwell Oval

10.00am

Newcastle City vs Terrigal Avoca

No 1 Sportsground

  11.00am

Maitland vs Lake Macquarie

Max McMahon Oval

  12.00pm

Cardiff vs Warners Bay

Hillsborough Oval

  12.00pm

Muswellbrook vs Singleton

Weeraman Field

2.00pm

Wallsend- West Newcastle  vs Killarney Vale

Bill Elliott Oval

2.00pm

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 18 Preview

The final round of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup this Saturday will be highlighted by a mouthwatering sudden-death fixture at Adcock Park, Gosford host Wyong Lakes in the BARTV Match of the Round, with a simple equation; the winner makes the Finals Series. BDAFL heavyweights Terrigal Avoca and Newcastle City have a huge last-round fixture at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground , Cardiff host their last-ever game at Hillsborough, fittingly against fierce local rivals Warners Bay; Killarney Vale head to Dick Burwell Oval knowing they have qualified for the finals series, a welcome return to August action for the Adelaide St faithful and in the final match Maitland host 11th -placed Lake Macquarie with both clubs keen to end a long season with a win in the last game of the season for both clubs.

Gosford, who have struggled in the last month, must defeat Central Coast rivals Wyong Lakes to secure seventh place and a possible date with Cardiff in week 1 of the Finals Series. The Tigers desperately need the return of Patrick Murphy this week, his long kicking enhanced on the small confines at West Gosford. Key Tigers backman Scott Burkinshaw could play on Magpies stalwart Justin McPhan, with this possible match-up key to the result between two evenly matched sides. The Tigers also need big performances from coach Josh Barty, Tristan Carter and full-forward Tim Eather if they are to defeat the Bombers. Eather has a big size advantage over wiry Magpies fullback Carter Jones, with the Tigers well-advised to get Eather in one-on-one marking contests with the Wyong Lakes custodian.

Wyong Lakes, comfortable winners last week, have 2017 Granland Medallist Brayden Tos in wonderful form at exactly the right time of the season.

Goalkicking rover Lee Moore looms as a major problem for the Tigers if he gets anything like decent ball from Tos and in contested ball situations. Tim Hillman, Jarrod Cross and Chris Koop-Folkes will need to be at their best this Saturday, as the Magpies have the added incentive of playing for a home semi-final in week 1 of the Finals Series if they can get over the desperate Gosford outfit.

Newcastle City & Terrigal Avoca at No.1 Sportsground; in the last 8 years, this fixture is the RollsRoyce of Black Diamond Cup games. This game may be used to try some structural changes, with Terrigal Avoca now having secured the Minor Premiership, a valuable week-off in Week 1 of the Finals and a possible Preliminary Final match-up against Singleton or Warners Bay at Adelaide St Oval.

Coach Chris Bishop may opt to rest a couple of sore players however Lachlan White may return, a very handy replacement and another of a myriad of midfield options for the wily Bishop. The return of Mark Skuse gives the Panthers some real strike power in the forward 50m arc, Skuse’s smarts and goalkicking across half-forward giving balance to a forward line featuring Brandon Thomas, Pete Van Dam and Daniel Heuston.

Newcastle City, coming off the Bye, will look to fine-tune their preparation for a possible 3 v 6 match-up against Killarney Vale in week one of the Finals Series. City have been outstanding in recent weeks, knocking off top four companions Cardiff and Warners Bay in their lead-up to this huge last-round clash. City’s half-back line, including Ethan Durbridge, Conor Haswell & Mac O’Malley, have been in superb form and they will look to feed in-form forwards Patrick Gillingham and Cameron Keast on the relatively short No.1 Sportsground. Mitchell Knight and Chris Bishop, similar-sized players and both very clever, could end up one another at stages in this match, and that would be a great duel inside a battle if it eventuates.

Warners Bay, now confirmed for the 4 vs 5 sudden-death week one semi-final against the Singleton Roosters, have an interesting opportunity to have a real crack at Cardiff, with the Hawks needing to quickly re-group after being humbled by Minor Premiers Terrigal Avoca last Saturday. Warners Bay, expecting the return of Ben Hunter and Jack Hardman, have a couple of minor injury worries but will go into this game against their fiercest rivals knowing they are capable of worrying Cardiff if they are disciplined, get an advantage in the clearances and play smart football at the short and wide Hillsborough Oval.

Cardiff, a very experienced outfit, will work hard this week on their midfield and forward structures, exposed somewhat by the Panthers last week. Tom Yensch stood up well last week under enormous pressure, as did David O’Donnell and Chad Mayo. The Hawks will need Josh Murphy and Lachlan Price to hit the scoreboard this week, and it would not surprise to see Cam Jones return to the starting 22, with Oscar Anderson or Linc Stewart a possible match-up for the burly half-forward.

Killarney Vale, who have produced a very good second half of the season, will fine-tune their finals preparations when they visit Dick Burwell Oval in Nelson Bay. The return of Bryce Singleton, and the quick recovery from injury of guns Brendan Lewis, Josh Mifsud and ruckman Tim Oosterhoff have the Bombers in a confident frame of mind. Lachlan Waters, Ben Simpson and Dan Cartwright have all given coach Scott Reed great service as the Bombers have returned to they want to be; finals football in late August.

Nelson Bay, finallists in the past two seasons but most disappointing this year, finish off their difficult season at their home ground on the Tomaree Peninsula. Billy Barton and Joel Erickson have shown their maturity and consistency all season, along with the lion-hearted rover Adam Grinyer. Sadly, coach Sean McGrath has struggled to get the same 22 (or in recent times even 22 players) on the park each week, and the Marlins faithful will need an honest and forthright de-brief after the completion of this Saturday’s Round 18 fixture.

Maitland will look to finish a very tough season on a high note in their last two games. The Saints have been served well season by Chris Pedler, veteran ruckman Mick Norton, big-improver Mitchell Greaves and in the back half of the season by their star player Patrick McMahon. McMahon has battled on in the second half of the season, nowhere near fully fit after a serious quad injury at the start of the season.

Lake Macquarie, who made a brave and welcome decision to join the Black Diamond Cup this year, will enjoy their last Saturday of the season at Max McMahon Oval in Rutherford, then look back at a tough season and quickly begin early preparations for a much-improved 2019. Oliver Bunny, Riley Janissen, fullback Damian McIntyre, Rory Sleeth and talented youngster Damon Tually have been the Dockers best players in a difficult season for the Tulkaba Park faithful.

Singleton has the last-round Bye.

In the GE Women’s competition, Maitland host Warners Bay with the winner to play finals; Nelson Bay take on Wyong Lakes at Dick Burwell Oval needing to win to claim the Minor Premiership and the important week off. Singleton take on Muswellbrook needing a win to secure their first ever finals berth; Newcastle City Stars and Nova’s are at No 1 Sportsground against Terrigal Avoca and Lake Macquarie respectively. And in the final matches Gosford host The Entrance Bateau Bay, Port Stephens are at home to Cardiff and Killarney Vale travel to Wallsend-West Newcastle.

Newcastle City and Terrigal Avoca do battle for the Minor Premiership in the highlight of the final Black Diamond Plate round.

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 17 Preview

Round 17 of the Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL competitions will be played this Saturday. Preview below.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup

Cardiff vs Terrigal Avoca

Hillsborough Oval

2.00pm

BarTV Match of the Week

Maitland vs Warners Bay

Max McMahon Oval

2.00pm

 

Gosford vs Killarney Vale

Adcock Park

2.00pm

 

Singleton vs Nelson Bay

Rose Point Park

2.00pm

 

Lake Macquarie vs Wyong Lakes

Tulkaba Park

2.00pm

 

Newcastle City - Bye

     

GE Black Diamond Women’s

Wyong Lakes vs Maitland

Don Small Oval

10.00am

Newcastle City Stars vs Warners Bay

No 1 Sportsground

10.00am

Newcastle City Nova’s vs Wallsend-West Newcastle

No 1 Sportsground

  12.00pm

Cardiff vs Terrigal Avoca

Hillsborough Oval

12.00pm

Gosford vs Muswellbrook

Adcock Park

12.00pm

Lake Macquarie vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Tulkaba Park

12.00pm

Singleton vs Nelson Bay

Rose Point Park

  12.00pm

Killarney Vale vs Port Stephens

Adelaide St Oval

12.00pm

Black Diamond Plate

Singleton vs Nelson Bay

Rose Point Park

  10.00am

Gosford vs Wyong Lakes

Adcock Park

10.00am

Cardiff vs Terrigal Avoca

Hillsborough Oval

10.00am

Lake Macquarie vs The Entrance Bateau Bay

Tulkaba Park

10.00am

Maitland vs Warners Bay

Max McMahon Oval

  12.00pm

Muswellbrook vs Killarney Vale

Weeraman Field

2.00pm

Newcastle City vs Wallsend-West Newcastle

No 1 Sportsground

2.00pm

You will be able to keep to date with all results during the day at http://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=0-916-0-0-0&a=FIXTURE&compID=478412

2018 Hunter Haval Black Diamond AFL Round 17 Preview

In the Hunter Haval Black Diamond Cup this Saturday, Warners Bay head to Max McMahon Oval in Rutherford to play the tenth-placed Maitland Saints; Wyong Lakes are away to Lake Macquarie knowing they must win and hope that Gosford lose; Gosford, who have a two-game home set to finish the Home & Away season, host Killarney Vale knowing that victory books them a place in the Finals Series; Singleton, playing their last game of the Home & Away season before a last round Bye, host Nelson Bay at Rose Point Park, and in a mouth-watering possible dress rehearsal for the Grand Final, second-placed Cardiff host Terrigal Avoca at Hillsborough in the BARTV Match of the Round.

In a fascinating fixture at Hillsborough, the Minor Premiership (and the priceless week off) is up for grabs as Terrigal Avoca head up the M1 to take on their rivals from the truly outstanding 2017 Grand Final, the Cardiff Hawks.

The Panthers are well-structured, have a large midfield rotation, a suffocating back six and the rapidly-improving tap ruckman Jasper Davis feeding prime movers Chris Bishop and James Webster. Brandon Thomas is over some niggling injuries, with an electrifying eight-goal haul against Nelson Bay last week. Of interest will be who marks up on Hawks forwards Lachlan Price, Jack Lennon, Cam Jones and Tom Yensch when he goes forward. Corbin Bond may get Price, with Jarrad Flint a possible match-up for the burly Jones. Yensch may have company from Jayson Van Dam when he ventures into the forward 50.

Hawks coach Nathan Harkness has some interesting decisions of his own. With an attack-minded followers group featuring Lennon, Simon O’Brien and Marcus DeLeur, Harkness may elect not to tag Bishop and/or Webster. Matt Vukovich looms as a possible tagger for Bishop, given their similar height. Cardiff like to free up Nick Tomlinson and Zac Metcalfe in their back six, so it would not surprise to see Bishop have Thomas or possibly Mark Skuse line up on Tomlinson and take him to the goalsquare. Pete Van Dam can run all day and he might end up on Metcalfe, again making Metcalfe work defensively all day in a bid to nullify the Hawks key rebound man across half back.

In a massive fixture at Adcock Park, Gosford must win to secure their place in the Finals series, it really is as simple as that. The Tigers have struggled in recent weeks, despite the return of key backman Scott Burkinshaw. Missing small forward Adam Lyons, the Tigers need big performances from Patrick Murphy, coach Josh Barty, Tristan Carter and full-forward Tim Eather if they are to defeat the Bombers.

Killarney Vale will be sweating on the progress of injured star trio Brendan Lewis, Josh Mifsud and League ruckman Tim Oosterhoff as they prepare for an important game. The Bombers can finish anywhere from fifth to seventh in the Top 7, and they will need all hands on deck if they are defeat a desperate Tigers outfit this week. Lachlan Waters, coach Scott Reed, Ben Simpson and Dan Cartwright will have to be at their best if the Bombers are to hold onto sixth place.

Warners Bay, seemingly entrenched in fourth spot and looking directly at a sudden-death week one semi-final against the Singleton Roosters, are looking to fine-tune their midfield and forward line against the Saints before a massive last round clash against fierce rivals Cardiff at Hillsborough.

Both Jack Hardman and Jake Roach, who have had interrupted seasons, will play as long as possible on the hard and fast MCG-sized Max McMahon Oval. With No.1 rover Matt Spinks picking up a slight injury last week, it is unlikely he will be risked before the semi-finals. Coach Marty Reiman has some interesting selection issues this week, with Josh Nicol, Kayne Gibbs and David McGuinness all pressing for a return to Black Diamond Cup duties.

Maitland will look to finish a very tough season on a high note in their last two games. The Saints have been served well season by Chris Pedler, veteran ruckman Mick Norton, Mitchell Greaves and in the back half of the season by their star player Patrick McMahon.

Wyong Lakes, after the Bye last week, are still in the hunt for a finals berth after Gosford stumbled in Singleton last Saturday. The Magpies are expected to win at Tulkaba Park against the last-placed Lake Macquarie, then they are completely dependent on an injury-ravaged Killarney Vale defeat Gosford at Adcock Park. Those two results would set up an epic last round encounter, when Gosford host the Magpies. Brayden Tos, Lee Moore, Peter Drzal and fullback have been the Magpies best players this season and they must extract another good performance by their teammates this week.

Lake Macquarie can see the end of the season just around the corner, where they can sit back and begin early preparations for a much-improved 2019. Olive Bunny, Riley Janissen, fullback Damian McIntyre and talented youngster Damon Tually have been the Dockers best players in a disappointing season for the Tulkaba Park faithful.

Nelson Bay, finallists in the past two seasons but most disappointing this year, make the trek to Rose Point Park to take on a confident, finals-bound Singleton. The Marlins, humbled by first-placed Terrigal Avoca last week, must find an avenue to goal this week against a Singleton side who don’t kick large scores, instead relying on solid defensive structures. Billy Barton and Joel Erickson have show their maturity and consistency all season, and star player Jayden Rymer, hampered by injury at times this year, has again shown he is one of the class players in the League.

Singleton have welcomed the return from injury of Mitchell Gaffney (broken jaw) and will look to Gaffney, Alex Mitchell and Travis Bates to kick them a winning score this week. Apart from the star duo of Sam Brasington and Andrew Scott, the Roosters have had consistent seasons from Oliver Moody, Roosterettes coach Andrew MacPherson and Luke Davis as they head toward the finals after the Bye next week.

Newcastle City has the Bye in the lead-up to their huge last home game of the season on August 4; hosting Terrigal Avoca.