ROUND 3 THE battle for dominancE
Bulli FC 1901 are at home and will play Wollongong United. Joyous and painful memories linger. United will remember that Grand Final loss to Bulli as will Bulli remember their last gasp winner. Both teams are vying for the coveted Championship spot. The day is beautiful, warm and sunny with a slight hint of a cool southerly wind. This should be a great battle between two of the top IPL teams. FC 1901 lost to Olympic and to lose here will impact on their belief as Championship material.
ROUND 3 THE RELEGATION BATTLES BEGIN
The Blueys face off against Cringila Lions. The Blueys prop up the table on zero points. They were hammered 5-1 by Wollongong United in the postponed Round One. They clearly struggled against the 2020 Grand Final winners. In Round Two Bulli did not get out of second gear and dominated the game with the Blueys unable to gain any significant period of possession. They have played two of the favourites to take out the title this year but another loss, three in a row would knock the confidence out of the team. This game will see if they are to face a long season fighting for survival or become a mid-table team. Tonight, the Blueys face the Cringila Lions away in what may be an early relegation battle. The Lions are in a similar position with zero points. They will want to win at home and put distance between themselves and the Blueys in what could be for both clubs a difficult season.
Woonona Sharks v POrt Kembla FC
This will be the first IPL game for the Sharks. As Premiers they will have a target on their backs as teams attempt to knock them off the pedestal. Port by contrast had an unremarkable last season and will be looking to build on their Round 1 win over South Coast United (who are early favourites to be relegated). The weather is glorious in the high 20s with a strong north-easterly breeze. The surface of Shark Oval looks good.
Tarrawanna Blueys v Bulli FC
A blocking high over the Pacific has produced a glorious day for football at one of the most picturesque fields in the country. The Blueys, the perennial underachievers will be hoping to start the season well. Bulli after their loss in the opening round will want all three points if they are to not allow Olympic get an early start over them. The surface looks good and it should be an entertaining encounter between the traditional rivals in blue.
Tarrawanna Blueys 1 Bulli FC 4
The season is due to start this weekend but there has been considerable rainfall around the coastline of NSW. The state of the fields may cause a delay to the season kick-off. Bulli FC are the early favourites to take out this year’s title. Wollongong Olympic have revamped and are likely to be hot contenders. Wollongong United are always competitive and then there is Woonona Sharks who won the Premiership 2020. They may also make a big splash this year. At the bottom in line for relegation is South Coast United who must be the early favourites to drop into the District League with the best all weather field or not.
Wollongong Olympic v Bulli FC
The main game of the weekend involves Wollongong Olympic who take on Bulli FC. Both teams have ambitions for the premiership. The pitch is heavy but in good condition on a perfect Sunday afternoon.
Ian Clarino keeps a close on eye on Hikaru Kawasakiya