THE Shoalhaven Senior Football Competition still has six teams within four points of each other after last week’s round.
Culburra remain at the top of the table after their 2-1 win over Illaroo. Shoalhaven Heads move from fifth to second due to their 3-1 win over Huskisson, while Shoalhaven United move into third after a solid 4-nil defeat of Basin. Manyana and Bomaderry both dropped a couple of positions due to their nil-all draw.
Match of the round
THE match of the round will be between Shoalhaven Heads and Culburra.
Heads have been the surprise packets of the competition so far and are currently sitting in second spot.
While this is no fluke, they still have a couple of tough sides to play in Culburra and Illaroo to finish off the first round.
Heads’ coach Ross Tasker has done a great job in turning round his club’s fortunes after a lean couple of years.
He does, however, readily admit it is only early days, and as the competition is so close, a loss can see a drop of several places.
Dane Tasker is proving to be a good finisher while Roy Miller, Conor Edenden, Alex Stokes and David Crapp are also playing well.
Competition favourites Culburra are cruising along nicely.
According to all reports they had little trouble accounting for the previously undefeated Illaroo side despite the close score line.
Apparently the Cougars are doing everything right except finishing their chances.
This should be rectified in a few weeks when super striker Corey Ryan returns to the field.
In the meantime the likes of Jack Miller, Steve Gray, Dale Blundell and Rob Hill will be looking to be on target.
Culburra still have the best attack and defence and deserve their position at the top of the table.
Heads will try hard but at the end of the day will not be able to match the powerful Culburra side.
Draw likely between two top teams.
ANOTHER great game will be between Shoalhaven United and Illaroo.
United got back on track with their win over Basin and moved back in to the top four.
They played good football against a determined Basin side, however coach Trevor Skingle will know they will need to step up a level against Illaroo.
Shane Button continues to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
Maybe he has been listening to the tips from assistant coach Matt Parker after all.
United lost Josh Mackaness early last week, however this provided Jake Hush with his chance in the top grade and he did not let the side down.
Shaun Aldous, Matt Lewis, Dean Atkinson and Matt Fuz have also been playing well.
Illaroo’s performance against Culburra was disappointing according to coach Andrew Timbs and he will be looking for an improved performance against United. They were undefeated before last week’s loss, however they now find themselves in fifth position.
They have a quick and skilful strike force of Aaron Crittenden and Brandon Politano, while Evan Leedham and Trent Bray also know their way to goal. Defensively Illaroo have not been as strong as previous
years and this is an area Timbs will be looking to improve.
This should be a close game between two traditional rivals with the likely result being a draw.
Bomaderry need to convert their chances
BASIN will host Bomaderry in what will be another good game.
Basin has been strong in all their first halfs, but has fallen away in the second.
Coach Scott Aldridge will be looking for his side to put in a strong performance for a full 90 minutes.
United only led 1-nil at half-time last week and did not score again until the last 15 minutes.
Basin was without two of their best players in Dane McGinn and Adam Moore, and while Aldridge would never use this as an excuse, their availability would have made a big difference to his side.
At full strength Basin can apply pressure to all sides, however they also need a bit of luck to go their way.
Chris Wallis, George Habberly, Tom Reminis, Brandon Labb and Chris Nation will all need to be at their best against Bomaderry.
Bomaderry have dropped to sixth spot despite only having the one loss.
However they are only four points from the top spot such is the closeness of the competition.
From all reports Bomaderry should have taken maximum points against Manyana, but could not find the back of the net.
Bomaderry coach Doug Foley is happy with how his side is playing, but he will know that two dropped points could prove costly at the end of the year.
Foley will look to Daniel Frew, Cameron Nelson, Blake Munilla, Brad Bailey, Michael Hampton and Matt Kellett for strong performances.
This game is likely to be close however Bomaderry should take maximum points.
Can Manyana remain undefeated?
THE final match in this round is between Manyana and Huskisson.
Manyana are the only undefeated side in the competition and yet they sit in fourth position.
It appears they should have tasted defeat last week, however they were without their gun player in Rohan Daley for the majority of the match.
When Daley is missing it appears to upset the side’s cohesion as this also happened late in the game against United.
The likes of Billy Zappas, Brian Malley, Mitch Butel, Mark Dixon Ben Daley and Brandon Perosh all need to step up if Daley is missing.
Huskisson are a lot better side than their results so far indicate.
Every team that has played them know they have been in a game and it definitely has not been an easy win.
In saying that, coach Ian Osterloh felt they were ordinary against Heads last week and he will want a huge improvement this week.
They certainly have a competitive line-up including the likes of Josh Fuz, Oliver Boserio, Sam Boardman, Jake Mulligan, Jayme Delehenty, Brendan Hobbs and Alex Boardman who can compete with any side on their day.
This match will be closer than most may expect and if Huskisson are at the best they may be able to get a draw.