THE Shoalhaven Senior Football Competition favourites Culburra had a huge 4-nil win over the previously undefeated Manyana side to cement their position at the top of the table.
Shoalhaven United remain in second position after their 4-2 win over Bomaderry, while Shoalhaven Heads are still in third due to their 2-nil win over Illaroo. Basin had their first win of the year when they defeated Huskisson 2-1.
The week’s games signal the start of the second round with four closely contested games expected.
Match of the round
Shoalhaven Heads v Manyana
Vic Zealand Oval, Saturday, 3.30pm
THE match of the round is between third placed Shoalhaven Heads and fourth placed Manyana.
When these two sides met in the first game of the year Heads coach Ross Tasker readily admitted he would have been happy to hold the much vaunted Manyana side to a five goal win.
Not only did they do this but they managed a well earned draw and have continued that form since to sit entrenched in the top four.
They have certainly been the surprise packet of the competition and Tasker will hope this form continues.
Defensively they have been strong and have only had multiple goals scored against them once.
Roy Miller, Brad Page and David Crapp have all been strong at the back, while Jai Findlay, Conor Edenden and Dane Tasker have also been in good form.
Manyana were undefeated before last week but they certainly felt the full force of the Cougar juggernaut to suffer their first loss.
Despite only having the one loss, Manyana is just hanging on to fourth position and any dropping of points in this game could see them fall further.
Manyana coach Matt Tooley is not too concerned about the loss as long the side react by turning this result around.
After scoring 11 goals in the opening four rounds they have dried up of late with only one being scored in the last three games.
Tooley will be looking to Rohan Daley,
Branden Perosh and Billy Zappas to correct this situation.
Like the first round game this match is also expected to be close with a draw the likely result.
Bomaderry look to bounce back from disappointing loss
Illaroo v Bomaderry
Sharman Park, Saturday, 3.30pm
ANOTHER important game will be between Illaroo and Bomaderry.
Illaroo have lost their last three matches to drop from near the top of the table to sixth.
Illaroo have left it late in the last two years to make the four and coach Andrew Timbs will not want to test his luck for a third year.
Admittedly the unavailability of Timbs, Daniel Leedham and Joey Leedham has not helped their cause, however they still have the talent to turn their season around.
The likes of Trent Bray, Aaron Crittenden, Evan Leedham, Brandon Politano, Brady Warren and Sam Leedham are among the best players in the competition and Timbs will need these guys at their best against a strong Bomaderry outfit.
Bomaderry started on fire against United last week and should have led by a couple early, however missed chances appears to be the story of their season. Bomaderry are dangerous in attack with Michael Hampton, Cameron Nelson, Matt Kellett, Daniel Frew and David Hampton all noted goal scorers.
However the fact that David Hampton has had to play at the back for most of the year indicates they are missing the services of Nathan Aldridge and Chris Reminis.
Coach Doug Foley will hope to have them back sooner rather than later.
They are the only side to defeat Culburra at this stage and if they recapture that form they can match it with anyone.
Another close game is expected, however Bomaderry are going a bit better than Illaroo and should take the win.
Can Huskisson reverse their fortunes?
Huskisson v Shoalhaven United
Huskisson Sporting Fields, Saturday, 3.30pm
ANOTHER good game will be between Huskisson and Shoalhaven United.
Huskisson currently sit at the bottom of the table without a win after last week’s loss to Basin.
The Huskisson side are a far better team than results suggest, however they have probably suffered a greater player loss than any other club.
The likes of Gary Masterson, Jordan Godley, Gary Neimier, Zac Hawker and Angus Blackmore have all moved on from last year.
Not only are they all quality players they also scored over 40 goals between them last year which is tough to replace.
However they do still have Jake Malligan, Alex Boardman, Brenden Hiriat, Josh Fuz, Brendan Hobbs and Sam Boardman on board.
It would be no surprise to see Huskisson reverse all their results in the second round.
Defending competition champions Shoalhaven United are currently sitting in outright second position, three points behind competition leaders Culburra.
They have been good in recent weeks with strong wins against Illaroo and Bomaderry after being behind in both games.
Shane Button has been great up front for the Bears and is scoring regularly to be the leading scorer in the competition.
Josh Mackaness is also proving to be a non-stop worker in the midfield while Matt Fuz, Matt Lewis and Shaun Aldous have been playing well.
United coach Trevor Skingle felt his defence were below their best in the first half last week and will be looking for them to be tighter this week.
Huskisson are sure to turn their results around soon, however United are playing too well at the moment and should be able to get the win.
Culburra v St Georges Basin
Culburra Oval, Saturday, 3.30pm
THE final match in this round will feature two last start winners in Culburra and St Georges Basin.
Culburra flexed their muscles against Manyana last week with a huge 4-nil win. Considering Manyana are the second favourites for the competition, this is an ominous result for the rest of the teams.
Even more ominous is the fact that these four goals were all scored without any input from super striker Corey Ryan.
It is scary to think how good they will be once Ryan gets back to his best and starts scoring.
After this result it is hard to see who is going to be able to come close to what is an awesome Cougar outfit.
Culburra coach Tony Gauci’s biggest problem each week comes when he has to decide which of his superstars will miss out on a starting position.
Basin had their first win in the last two years when they defeated Huskisson last week.
However Basin coach Scott Aldridge will know that win will mean nothing if they capitulate to Culburra in a similar manner to the way they did in the first round. His team obviously played for the full 90 minutes last week as they scored in the last minute.
An even bigger effort will be required this week if they are to compete with the strong Culburra side.
Aldridge will look for big performances from Braedon Mellier, Dane McGinn, Chris Nation, Chris Wallis, Brandon Labb, Tom Reminis and George Habberley.
Basin will try hard but will be no match for Culburra.