As season 2016 is drawing to a close we return to the Superdome for the final home match day of the year and Weekly Preview brought to you by MGM Wireless.
The D Grade return to action after a week off, in their last match they played out a 0-0 draw in the howling wind and slope of Southern Breakers. They have slipped down the table in the last few weeks thanks to the bye and being hit hard by unavailability and commitment but remain in 6th comfortably ahead of the chasers and still in touch with the top 4. This week they face second placed M United Stars a side who in Round 8 defeated OISC in a shortened match 4-1, Jack Cooke picking up OISC’s goal on that occasion. The Stars are averaging 4.25 goals per game while conceding 24 at 2 per game whereas OISC is averaging only 2 per game but conceding 3.1 per game. The boys know they face a tough challenge but are hoping to be able to cause a surprise.
The C Grade got a vitally important boost to their goal difference and confidence last week as they demolished St Peters 10-0 to maintain the pressure on joint leaders BOSA. Andrew Rossi and his top-knot returned to goal scoring form last week putting in four, the side continuing to benefit from a wide range of scoring options with 18 players having scored for the C’s this year. This week they take on a Brahma Lodge side who defeated Cobras 4-1 last week to consolidate fourth position on the table. OISC defeated Brahma 2-0 back in Round 8 but when the boys from Brahma came to the Superdome in 2015 to take on the D Grade they left with a 3-2 win despite being 2-1 down with 20 minutes to play and while reduced to 10 men. The C’s will hope that they will be able to get a lead and maintain it to pick up their first three points at home since Round 11.
The B Grade were not afforded the opportunity of chasing vital goal difference last week against Torrens Valley to leave them 7 goals adrift of favourites Red Blue Eagles. In their last outing in Round 15 they defeated the Eagles 2-0 and were dominant in every way leaving their opposition to surrender top spot. This week they take on a Hahndorf side sitting in 9th place and who were defeated 7-1 up the hill in Round 8. In that match it was Stents with a hat-trick and four single goal scorers. This week only three of those names remain in Cavuoto, Mercuri and Covino. They will be keenly watching the results at Titans and Eagles as the league remains extremely tight and looks set to go down to the final matchday.
The A Grade survived an early scare last week to defeat Torrens Valley 8-2, this is hot on the heels of their 3-1 defeat of Div 1 leaders BOSA in the Cup Quarter Final the week before. This week they take on a Hahndorf side who lost to Nick Barbieri 5-1 and OISC 6-1 in Round 8. The Magpies are however on a run picking up their only two wins of the season in their last two matches to see them try to finish 2016 on a high note and hand the wooden spoon to their hills based counterparts. OISC will need to remain vigilant to ensure that they don’t become the third victim. Since the two sides last met OISC’s figures have much improved scoring 24 goals at 3 per game while conceding 8 at only 1 per game which when compared to Rounds 1-7 is a stark contrast to the average 2.85 goals scored but critically 2.85 conceded as well. This statistically bodes well for OISC as Hahndorf have scored only 22 goals at 1.38 per game while conceding 54 at 3.38 per game. Up front goals have begun to flow from multiple sources, Peter Barone statistically vs minutes up front has become a goal scoring super-power with 5 goals in the last two outings. Saturday they will be chasing vital goal difference to stay in contention.
On Sunday the Lady Wolves season draws to a close in the Div 4/5/Collegiate Cup Final where they will line up against fellow Collegiate side Pembroke Old Scholars. They finished their league season on a high defeating Westminster 6-2 with gun defensive trio of Murray, Caretti and Malbon all turning into gun strikers and getting on the board. This victory consolidating a third successive 3rd place finish on the table and coming only days after the girls out in a superb performance to defeat unbeaten Collegiate League champions Seymour 2-1 in the mid-week Cup Semi Final. In that match everyone played their part with Ellie Lynch finding the back of the net twice. Seymour struggled to deal with the OISC pace and were unable to penetrate the defensive wall, one which has conceded only 25 goals in all competitions this year (at only 1.3 per game). The girls have met fellow finalists Pembroke twice before this season; OISC taking a pair of 4-2 victories thanks to blistering starts on both occasions. They will again be looking to replicate this and be sound in the knowledge that they aren’t a team that just relies on three players to get the job done, that they have a wide range of targets on goal and a solid midfield and defence to protect their advantage. Make sure you get out and support the girls in their bid for silverware, 10:30 am kickoff Sunday at Elite Systems Football Centre (46 Cowan St, Angle Park), we are all part of the one club so come along to share in the day.