Category: Front Page, Mens
Devine Premier League Preview - Round 18
by Luca Cetta
With two promotion spots already decided, six Devine Premier League clubs are in the running to claim the final two positions on the last day of the season, while Para Hills is aiming to seal the Championship in what will be a thrilling Round 18.
Three points clear at the top of the table, the Knights need just a draw to clinch the minor premiership – only a week before they face Devine Super League outfit MetroStars in the Coca-Cola Federation Cup Final.
The only other side capable of catching the Knights is Adelaide Cobras. They must win and rely on a goal swing to steal the minor premiership on the final day of the campaign.
Para Hills, who will be aiming to at least match Cobras result, hold a +6 goal difference over their nearest challenger.
Cobras will be hoping to score the goals required as they face bottom-of-the-table Salisbury United. The Blues have won just once all campaign and have conceded 33 goals.
Cobras will fancy their chances in heaping as much pressure as they can on the Knights. Yet they will need a favour from Para Hills’ opponents, Modbury.
Para Hills is away at the Jets and the competition leaders will be looking to atone for their Round 1 single-goal defeat.
However, they face a Modbury side coming into the final day as one of the six clubs hoping to join the Knights and Cobras in claiming a promotion spot.
For the fifth-placed Jets, a win is their target while a draw could see them promoted, however in both scenarios they are dependent on other results going their way.
Cumberland United and White City, both on 25 points, currently occupy the remaining promotion positions. Both sides are away in Round 18, at Playford and South Adelaide respectively.
The battle between the third-placed Foxes and sixth-placed Patriots is pivotal in the battle for promotion, with the pair currently separated by just a point.
Cumberland have stumbled in recent weeks to ensure this nail-biting finale, having not won in five matches and drawing their past four encounters. Another stalemate could be enough, but then the Foxes could miss out if results do not fall in their favour.
Playford have kept pace in the closing stages with three wins in a row. Yet due to their -5 goal difference a win is required, but they will also be dependent on the Knights and South Adelaide for help.
South Adelaide are also in the running as they host White City. The Panthers still hold hopes of a top four finish but are in the least enviable position.
Eighth on 22 points, their -5 goal difference may prove a hindrance in the final reckoning. They are in need of a victory and at least four clubs not gaining maximum points.
White City could have sealed promotion to the top flight with a win last weekend, but were stunned 6-1 by Pirates, as the Warriors have won just once in the past five games.
Still fourth, they will need to find their winning touch to be assured of a place in the top four.
Adelaide Olympic is out of the running but will be aiming to end the campaign on a high against Pirates.
Pirates enjoyed a solid win last week, but even a repeat performance may not be enough to secure promotion, with anything less than a win ending hopes of promotion.
Three points against Olympic, a loss for White City, and draws or losses for both Playford and Modbury would see Pirates sneak into fourth spot and secure promotion.
Saturday August 18
Adelaide Olympic v Pirates
3pm - John Hart Reserve (Pirate Park), off Swan Terrace, ETHELTON
Modbury v Para Hills
3pm - Jet Park, Corner Golden Grove & Milne Roads, RIDGEHAVEN
South Adelaide v White City3pm - O'Sullivans Beach Sports Complex, Galloway Road, O'SULLIVANS BEACH
Playford v Cumberland United
3pm - Ramsay Park, Barfield Crescent, ELIZABETH WEST
Adelaide Cobras v Salisbury United
3pm - Weigall Oval, Urrbrae Terrace, PLYMPTON