Round 18 Preview – State League Women’s

Women’s State League round-18 sees SD Raiders host APIA Leichhardt Tigers in a top-of-the-table clash, Western NSW Mariners play Parramatta FC, St George FC face Mount Druitt Town Rangers, and University of NSW have the bye.

SD Raiders vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 6 August 3pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

Competition leaders APIA Leichhardt Tigers play their second top-of-the-table match in three weeks when they face in-form SD Raiders at Ernie Smith Reserve.

In a repeat of last year’s grand final, Tigers meet the defending champions needing just one more point to claim a second-straight premiership.

But Raiders are carrying excellent form. A fourth win in five games has seen them rise to second on the ladder, and they’ve conceded just three times in that run.

Districts will also be buoyed by the fact they held the highly-ranked Tigers to a 1-1 draw in their round-four meeting at Ernie Smith Reserve before an excellent showing at Lambert Park in which APIA pulled off a 5-3 win.

Western NSW Mariners vs Parramatta FC, Sunday 6 August 3pm, Proctor Park

Western NSW Mariners have plenty to play for when they welcome Parramatta FC over the mountains at Proctor Park as finals destiny is all in their hands.

UNSW’ second-straight loss makes it a clear equation for fifth-placed Mariners – win their four remaining matches (particularly a final-round match-up with ‘the Students’ – their only Sydney fixture) and they willtake fourth spot from Uni.

It’s also timely they face a besieged Parramatta as Western haven’t scored a goal in nearly a month; three straight ducks and a bye surrendering vital ground to the top-four sides.

The last time these teams met resulted in a 16-0 Mariners whitewash at Jack Brabham Park, and they also won their first encounter 8-0 at Melita Stadium.

St George FC vs Mount Druitt Town Rangers, Sunday 6 August 3pm, St George Stadium

St George can stake a claim for second spot with a positive result against Mount Druitt Town Rangers at St George Stadium.

With SD Raiders facing runaway leaders APIA the timing is ripe for a second Saints jump up the ladder in as many weeks, and even a draw will take them ahead of Raiders by superior goal-difference.

Standing in their way however is a brave Mount Druitt outfit that seems intent on spoiling the post-season party for as many teams as possible, or at least making them sweat – like they did fantastically in a gutsy 3-5 defeat to Tigers on the weekend.

In the past month Rangers have also held Uni to a 3-3 draw and took it to both Raiders and Mariners in tight 1-2 losses – if Mount Druitt could just bolster their defence (53 goals leaked in 15 matches) they’d probably be fighting for a top-four position.

Rangers will fancy themselves against Saints having won their first meeting at St George Stadium 5-2, which was followed by a 4-2 loss at Popondetta Park.