Black Diamond Cup Match of the Round Preview – Wyong Lakes vs. Killarney Vale

Written by Ryan Stanton


This week’s BarTV Match of the Round will be beamed live from Don Small Oval as Wyong Lakes Magpies takes on Killarney Vale Bombers in the Haval Black Diamond Cup.

This local derby match is always a beauty and there is no reason to expect this game to be otherwise.

Adding extra interest to an encounter that really doesn’t need a boost in this department is the offseason signing of Bombers stalwart Michael Solomons as Wyong Lakes head coach this season. Solomons left with the blessing and goodwill of the Bombers but nonetheless it will give both clubs an extra incentive to play well and come away with a victory.

Wyong are coming off a heavy loss at the hands of Terrigal-Avoca last week but Solomons remains positive with his team’s efforts.

“I’ve been very happy with our pressure game over the past couple of weeks against quality opposition. We lacked this at the start of the season and it showed. We were lucky to get over the line against Warner’s Bay and fell just short against Gosford.”

Wyong fought hard against the Panthers despite a depleted line up of more than half of their best run on team. However this week they will be bolstered by the return of dynamic inside midfielders Lee Moore(overseas) and Chris Koop-Folkes (attended a wedding) who will be welcomed back with open arms. Adding to the Magpie returns is Emanuel Edwards who has missed the past few weeks with a calf injury. At over 190cm tall the centre half back will solidify the Wyong backline which is something they missed last week against Terrigal-Avoca.

Wyong will need to be unforgiving all game if they hope to contain the Killarney Vale midfield. Top on-ball performer Josh Mifsud is again in fine form and he has been combining well with part time ruckman Jayden Banfield who is proving a wonderful find for the Bombers. Of course, no one knows what they will be up against more than their former team mate and assistant coach Solomons.

“Mifsud is a magician with the footy. Tim Oosterhoff has a leap on him in the ruck like no other which he can use as a key forward when required.”

Oosterhoff used his physical prowess when he switched to the forward line last week kicking 5 sensational goals in a match winning performance. The quality at the Bombers however does not end there.

“We must respect Kyall Walford. He is a danger man who can turn a game very quickly” added Solomons.

However Walford spent much of last week in the forward line after a quadriceps injury hindered his movement and he will be racing the clock to be available this week.

If Walford is sidelined there will be no sympathy from Wyong Lakes who themselves have an injury list as long as your arm. But things could well be looking up soon. Quality goal kicker Jarred Cross (hand) is hoped to back in a few weeks, as is big-body backman Aaron Laksa (back) and Josh Glachan (shoulder) who has been their best in the back line this year.

As good as these inclusions will be in the coming weeks, the Magpies do not have the luxury to wait that long and must test their depth and prepare a team to starting winning this week.

In their way is an improving Bombers outfit who are confident despite an unimpressive 3 losses from 5 games thus far. But admittedly their draw has been difficult as they played all the preliminary sides from 2018 in the first 4 rounds.

To cement their position in the top 6 Killarney Vale will be hoping to go on a month long winning streak which started with a comfortable win against Maitland last week.

Co-Coach Corey Shackleton was confident his troops have the ability to take home the four points but he definitely saw this as a real danger game.

“Wyong match up on us quite well. They have a quality midfield who can be very physical.”

When Wyong Lakes stream into their forward line they look to none other than Justin McPhan who has been at his goal kicking best this year and is a real worry for the Bombers.

“Justin is very difficult to match up and is the most under-rated forward in the league. He is a good target with an accurate kick who can also damage you when he pushes up the field.”

Killarney Vale will likely welcome back Calvin Bond (midfield), Jimmy the Kidd (wing) and Enjay Convy(forward) from the reserves last week where they all were very impressive.

Another to return this week is Brad Edwards who has been tremendous at fullback after returning to the Bombers after a stint in Victoria.

“Brad was away last week due to work. He’s been in top form so it’s great to have him back this game” Shackleton commented.

When you add the quality of Scott Reed and Rick White to this list in the coming weeks the Bombers have reason to think their best is definitely ahead of them. Both have had interrupted preparations and are yet to play a game in 2019 as has quality fullback Ryan Barrett who required knee surgery  just before the season. Barrett will no doubt be rushed back into the team as soon as he is available later in the year.

Killarney vale will need to be at their brilliant best this match in what is shaping up as battle of the mid-field. Both teams have great on ballers who are quick with the ball and know how to hit a target.

“We have started well in all of our games this year but haven’t always been able to maintain this for the whole game” said Shackleton.

It is going to be a tense encounter which will allow the winners to assert themselves on the competition and the losers will start to seriously doubt their possible success in the season ahead.

The final word goes to Solomons as he sums up beautifully what it will take to flourish in this epic encounter.

“The team with the determination and willingness to succeed that can maintain the pressure for all four quarters will come out victors.”

It is very difficult to argue with that.

For all the action tune into BarTV and the pleasurable timbres of Dave Redden at 2pm as he calls the Match of Round between Wyong Lakes and Killarney Vale in the Haval Black Diamond Cup.

Do not forget that the Magpies are holding their annual Pink Day to raise much needed funds for the Wyong Hospital Cancer Care Clinic. Be sure to look out for all Wyong Lake players wearing pink socks for all grades.

Also, if you get to the ground for the first match at 10am you will witness a phenomenon as Billy Denniss runs out to play his 700th game of football. Billy is a legend and no doubt his proud club will be eager to help him celebrate the occasion with a sweet victory.

Please note: BarTV will be coving all three games LIVE on Saturday at Don Small Oval starting with Plate at 10am, Women’s at 12pm and the Cup game at 2pm.