Club Championship Overview – May week 4

NPL 1

Not a lot of movement up the top this week, APIA moved into 2nd, Blacktown retained 1st with both picking up solid points.

The key battle in the NPL 1 is at the other end with a Parramatta and Bonnyrigg fighting it out for survival. This week Parramatta made 0 points, losing in all 3 grades whilst the White Eagles picked up 6 points, a win coming from their U20s.

Wollongong Wolves made a bit of ground on their quest to stay in the top flight, picking up maximum points over the weekend, whilst Hakoah have slipped a little, falling to 10th.

However, with FNSW holding off their planned changes in the Men’s competition, Parramatta are still the favourites to be relegated.

NPL 2

As to be expected, Marconi are tightening their hold on 1st place, getting out to 197 points, putting a 25 point gap over 2nd placed Western Sydney Wanderers. Not far behind however are Central Coast Mariners on 169 points then Northern Tigers who are sitting 2nd on the first grade table with 168 points. The race doesn’t stop there with Hills on 150 points, and although a fair amount behind Marconi, could pounce should the Stallions slip up at any stage.

Bankstown City managed a win on the weekend in 1st grade, pulling them up to 58 points from the 43 last week, now sitting only 12 points behind Berries. With the Bankstown derby on this weekend, the game may prove vital in who is set to be relegated with Spirit FC slightly ahead on 99 points thanks to their junior teams. Macarthur Rams and Mounties Wanderers are also not safe, with 101 and 106 points each; Macarthur being let down by their 18s and Spirit faltering in 1st grade.

NPL 3

In what is one of the tightest races in a while, Fraser Park have managed to overtake Rydalmere at the top of the table, holding a 3 point lead. It is pretty safe to say that the promotion race will come down to these 2 teams, and may possibly come down to the last round or before that in round 20 when the 2 sides are set to face off again.

Not completely out of it though are Sydney Uni and St George FA both with 157 points. However unless the top 2 teams get riddled with injuries I don’t see them being able to make a play for promotion.

Balmain Tigers are still sitting on the bottom with only 61 points after Granville Rage made some small gains now with 63 points. Also in danger of falling into relegation are Western NSW Mariners with 74 points, Inter Lions on 78 points and Stanmore Hawks on 86 points.

The biggest factor for the Tigers is the form in their 1st grade side with only 16 points earned, whilst Granville is being held back by their juniors with 5 and 10 point earned from their 18s and 20s. Much like the other 2 NPL comps, with FNSW set to hold off on their restructure for another year, every point counts as neither side wants to find themselves in State League, where anything could happen.

State League

State League is probably the hardest to analyse, as at the moment there are a number of teams that have make up games to play. The results from last nights games have not been updated into the club championship yet however we know that Nepean defeated Prospect to earn 12 points, that much will be factored in.

The new leaders are UNSW with 104 points, after strong results from all 3 grades. Bankstown United will be disappointed that they have slipped out of 1st, however on 95 points with only 7 rounds played so far, they have plenty of opportunity to make that ground back.

Nepean move into 2nd on the table with 98 points, staking their claim that they deserve promotion to get back to face rivals SD Raiders next season. Camden Tigers sit in 4th on 93 points, also well within striking distance of promotion.

It will be interesting to see what happens with promotion and relegation this season; if the changes don’t go ahead then FNSW will be hoping for Nepean or Bankstown to gain promotion, otherwise they may be tasked with some difficult decisions when it does come to the restructuring.

As stated before however, the introduction of an NPL 4 with 10-14 teams is the most ideal situation, one that will not only keep all the teams happy, but also promote the growth of football in NSW.

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