Culburra inch further towards championship

GAME ON: Culburra’s Daniel Wells is expected to have a good game against old rivals United this weekend.

GAME ON: Culburra’s Daniel Wells is expected to have a good game against old rivals United this weekend.

THE Shoalhaven Senior football competition championship race is all but over as Culburra now has a seven point lead after their 5-1 win over Basin. 

Their nearest rivals Shoalhaven Heads were beaten 4-3 by Manyana, however both team remain in second and third respectively. Shoalhaven United consolidated their position in the top four after defeating Huskisson 5-2, while Bomaderry are only a point further back due to a strong 4-nil win over Illaroo.

Match of the round

THE match of the round is between the two sides that played in last year’s grand final – Shoalhaven United and Culburra. 

Several weeks ago United were going backwards however in recent weeks they have turned their form around to move in to the top four. 

They have also improved their goal scoring with 12 goals in their last two games. 

Shane Button is yet to return from injury however Taite Arney has been a more than able replacement up front. 

With the loss of Josh Mackaness, coach Trevor Skingle called up Zac Gordon to replace him, who is another junior from the United production line. 

Gordon had a solid game in his debut and could give Skingle a welcome selection dilemma in the weeks to come as the likes of Shaun Aldous, Josh Vandenberg and Shane Button return.

Culburra have all but wrapped up the competition championship with six rounds to go. 

They have a seven-point lead and would need to lose three games to not finish at the top, and considering they have only lost one all year, it is unlikely this will happen. 

Culburra coach Tony Gauci is confident his side will finish as champions as they have several players to return which will only strengthen them. 

Any side that has the likes of Jack Miller, Dale Blundell, Corey Ryan, Aaron Mason, Blair Sutherland, Keiran Witt, Daniel Wells and Scott Merivale in their line-up are worthy competition favourites. Culburra won the first round 1-nil while they easily won the second 6-nil. 

They will win this game also with the score likely to be between the previous two.

Can Bomaderry make it three wins against Huskisson?

HUSKISSON will host Bomaderry in what will be another good game. Huskisson had been in good form leading up to last week’s game against United, however they came crashing back to earth with a 5-2 loss. 

They managed to score the first goal but were unable to stop United when they got going. 

Huskisson coach Ian Osterloh would like his side to return to the form that saw them win against Basin and draw with both Culburra and Heads. 

He will look for good performances from Jayme Delehenty, Brendon Hobbs, Brendon Hiriat, David Dunlop, Josh Fuz, Sam Boardman, Jake Malligan and Alex Boardman.

Bomaderry returned to form last week with a strong 4-nil win over Illaroo. 

They needed to recover quickly from their disappointing loss to United and they did this. 

Coach Doug Foley would be happy with the way his side has responded to that loss and would hope that continues. 

They have a dangerous strike force that includes the likes of Cameron Nelson, Michael Hampton and Dave Hampton. 

The return of Matt Kellett last week strengthened the side while Mitch Cornell, Ben Foley, Blake Munilla and Daniel Turner have also been good. 

Bomaderry have won the two previous encounters 2-1 and 4-nil. Bomaderry should also win this match.

Illaroo need to put in a winning effort

ILLAROO will host Manyana in what is definitely their last throw of the dice. 

Illaroo probably need to win all of their remaining games to feature in the finals and while this is unlikely, stranger things have happened. 

Illaroo have had a torrid year with injuries and have struggled from week to week to put a competitive side on the park. 

At full strength they can compete with anyone however this has rarely been the case. 

Coach Andrew Timbs would hope to have Slade Small, Evan Leedham, Zac Vellis, Aaron Crittenden, Paul Maiolo and Trent Bray all on deck for this important match.

Manyana have moved to within one point of second place after their win over Heads and would be looking to finish in the top two. Brandon Perosh was on fire last week and scored three goals to move to within one goal of the top scorer in the competition who is in fact his teammate Rohan Daley. 

While goal scoring is their strength they are leaking a few goals and coach Matt Tooley would like his side to improve in this area. Tooley will be looking for strong performances from Mitch Butel, Rob Barrett, Billy Zappas, Brian Malley, Mark Dixon, Sam Swann and Matt Ringland. 

The first round was a 3-all draw and Manyana won the second round 5-nil. 

Based on recent form Manyana should not have too much trouble winning this match.

Heads need a win to stay competitive

THE final match in this round is between Shoalhaven Heads and Basin. 

Heads have come back to the pack a bit after their loss to Manyana who are now only one point behind them. 

It has been said before however Heads are the surprise packets of the competition as they were not expected to be in this position at this stage of the year. 

They have been strong defensively all year however last week they had four put past them which was out of character. 

Coach Ross Tasker would like them to return to their previous form in this area. 

Connor Edenden is scoring regularly while Dane Tasker and Jai Findlay also know their way to goal.

Basin competed with the strong Culburra side last week and showed that they are good enough to be in the top grade. 

They are probably missing a couple of players that could make the difference between their current results and draws or wins against the top sides. 

However this year’s experience will help the side’s performance next year. 

Coach Scott Aldridge will be looking for his side to finish the year on a high note with improved performances. 

Aldridge will look to Chris Preece, Mitch Brown, Mark Foggin, Adam Brown, Brandon Labb, Wade Garin and Tom Reminis for good performances. 

Heads won the first two games 3-nil and 5-nil with a similar result expected this time.

Shoalhaven District Football Association draw

Round 16

Saturday, July 19

3.30pm

Huskisson v Bomaderry at Huskisson Sporting Fields No1

Shoalhaven United v Culburra at Lyrebird Park

Illaroo v Manyana at Sharman Park

Shoalhaven Heads v St Georges Basin at Vic Zealand Oval

Reserve grade

Round 16

Saturday, July 19

1.40pm

Huskisson v Bomaderry at Huskisson Sporting Field No1

Shoalhaven United v Culburra at Lyrebird Park

Illaroo v Manyana at Sharman Park

Shoalhaven Heads v St Georges Basin at Vic Zealand Oval

Third grade

Round 16

Saturday, July 12

Noon

Huskisson v Bomaderry at Huskisson Sporting Fields No1

Shoalhaven United v Culburra at Lyrebird Park

Shoalhaven Heads v St Georges Basin at Vic Zealand Oval

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