Last spots in the 2017 DOOLEYS Metro League Grand Finals are up for grabs this week as the competition enters the penultimate week.
After the excitement of Semi Finals last week it’s Preliminary Finals time and Divisions 1-6 will take the court across three nights to determine who will feature in the title deciders. And it all starts tonight, Monday 4 September, with Divisions 3 and 4.
Hunter, Randwick, Inner Western Suburbs, Illawarra District and Hills District have all secured their places in their respective Grand Finals. But just who will meet them? See who is in contention below…
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Baulkham Hills Shire v Eastwood Ryde, 8.30pm THU 7 SEP
Just one point separated the two sides at the end of the regular season, Baulkham Hills Shire securing second spot thanks to a draw with Bankstown City in Round 4 (50-50). In fact in the previous round Eastwood Ryde were able to claim victory in their first match-up, posting a 54-44 win. But Baulkham Hills had the last laugh in Round 12 when they defeated Eastwood by 12 goals (46-34).
Despite this, Eastwood are on the up as they take three consecutive wins into this week’s sudden-death Final – the last one a 46-36 Minor Semi Final win over Illawarra District to keep their season alive. Meanwhile Baulkham Hills are having to recover from a 65-34 defeat at the hands of the Minor Premiers, Hunter United, whom they will meet in the Grand Final should they overcome a confident Eastwood outfit this week.
Rd 3: Eastwood Ryde 54 d Baulkham Hills Shire 44
Rd 12: Baulkham Hills 46 d Eastwood Ryde 34
Major Semi Final: Hunter United 65 d Baulkham Hills Shire 34
Minor Semi Final: Eastwood Ryde 46 d Illawarra District 36
Preliminary Final: Baulkham Hills Shire v Eastwood Ryde | 8.30pm, THU 7 SEP
Grand Final: Hunter United v Winner PF | 8.30pm, THU 14 SEP
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Hills District v Blue Mountains, 6.45pm THU 7 SEP
Minor Premiers Hills District have another chance to feature in the title decider after going down to Randwick in last week’s Major Semi Final, 47-57. To do that they must overcome Blue Mountains who are coming off a confidence-boosting 43-40 win over Campbelltown.
However Hills District will have self-assurance heading into the sudden death fixture having claimed both previous meetings between the two this season – a three-goal win in Round 9 (52-49) and again more recently in the final round of the regular season, 57-52.
That said, momentum is a wonderful thing to have during Finals and having fallen by less than five goals in both former match-ups, Blue Mountains will be backing their chances this week to feature in the title decider against Randwick.
Rd 9: Hills District 52 d Blue Mountains 49
Rd 18: Hills District 57 d Blue Mountains 52
Major Semi Final: Randwick 57 d Hills District 47
Minor Semi Final: Blue Mountains 43 d Campbelltown 40
Preliminary Final: Hills District v Blue Mountains | 6.45pm THU 7 SEP
Grand Final: Randwick v Winner PF | 6.45pm THU 7 SEP
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Central Coast v Parramatta Auburn, 8.30pm MON 4 SEP
Central Coast and Parramatta Auburn will go head-to-head this week, vying for the final spot in the title decider. And both will go into the contest with great belief in their chances.
The tally this season is a win apiece; Parramatta drew first blood with a five-goal victory in Round 8, before Central Coast got one back more recently in Round 17 by double digits (55-45). While Central Coast are coming off a loss to Minor Premiers Inner Western Suburbs in the Semi Finals, it was only by four goals – proving they’ve got plenty of talent in their squad.
However momentum is a powerful thing and Parramatta have plenty of it after posting a convincing 50-38 win over Eastwood Ryde last week to keep their season alive. While nothing is certain, one thing’s for sure – this week will be an exciting match-up!
Rd 8: Parramatta Auburn 54 d Central Coast 49
Rd 17: Central Coast 55 d Parramatta Auburn 45
Major Semi Final: Inner Western Suburbs 48 d Central Coast 44
Minor Semi Final: Parramatta Auburn 50 d Eastwood Ryde 38
Preliminary Final: Central Coast v Parramatta Auburn | 8.30pm, MON 4 SEP
Grand Final: Inner Western Suburbs v Winner PF | 8.30pm, MON 11 SEP
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Hunter United v Liverpool City, 6.45pm MON 4 SEP
Hunter United got within six goals of featuring in the 2017 Grand Final, however, Minor Premiers Inner Western Suburbs stood in their way. Now they have another chance but they’ll need to dismiss Liverpool City on their way.
In what is sure to excite fans, the last meeting between these two teams in Round 14 resulted in a 42-42 draw. Liverpool City got the early jump on Hunter, leading for the majority of the first 45 minutes. However after scoring six of the last nine goals in the third quarter, Hunter felt the momentum swing in their favour.
They came out with vigour at the start of the final term, putting up four unanswered goals to get within two. Liverpool held them off for a while but halfway through the quarter Hunter put up six consecutive goals to lock the scores at 39 apiece in the shadows of full time. It went goal-for-goal for the remainder of the game with Hunter scoring in the final seconds to even the contest at 42-42.
Let’s hope we see a repeat tonight! What a spectacle it would be (but maybe not for Hunter or Liverpool fans!)
Rd 5: Hunter United 40 d Liverpool City 36
Rd 14: Hunter United 42 drew Liverpool City 42
Major Semi Final: Inner Western Suburbs 48 d Hunter United 43
Minor Semi Final: Liverpool City 50 d St George District 35
Preliminary Final: Hunter United v Liverpool City | 6.45pm MON 4 SEP
Grand Final: Inner Western Suburbs v Winner PF | 6.45pm MON 11 SEP
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Inner Western Suburbs v Hawkesbury City, 8.30pm TUE 5 SEP
While technically finishing in third position, Hawkesbury City only trailed Minor Premiers Inner West by two points – showcasing just how close the Division 5 competition was this year. After surviving a sudden-death final against Penrith District (and posting a commanding 22-goal win in the process), Hawkesbury City will have plenty of confidence heading into tomorrow night’s contest.
Adding to their self-assurance is the knowledge they are the only team to remain undefeated against the Minor Premiers this year – a nine-goal victory in Round 4, backed up by another nine-goal victory in Round 13.
However, it’s no accident Inner West ended up on top of the table this season. Can they dispel any doubts when coming up against their bogey side?
Rd 4: Hawkesbury City 40 d Inner Western Suburbs 31
Rd 13: Hawkesbury City 45 d Inner Western Suburbs 36
Major Semi Final: Illawarra District 49 d Inner Western Suburbs 45
Minor Semi Final: Hawkesbury City 50 d Penrith District 28
Preliminary Final: Inner Western Suburbs v Hawkesbury City | 8.30pm TUE 5 SEP
Grand Final: Illawarra District v Winner PF | 8.30pm TUE 5 SEP
PRELIMINARY FINAL: Camden & District v Liverpool City, 6.45pm TUE 5 SEP
Only four goals separated these two sides after Camden claimed victory between in Round 17; the other game earlier in the season resulted in a draw, which all points to an exciting sudden-death final this week.
Minor Premiers Camden are coming off a hard fought 42-51 loss to Hills District, while Liverpool City put together a near-perfect four-quarter performance to keep their season alive against Campbelltown last week.
And with Camden enjoying just one more win so far compared to Liverpool City, its further proof just how tight tomorrow night’s game should be!
Rd 8: Camden & District 50 drew Liverpool City 50
Rd 17: Camden & District 46 d Liverpool City 42
Major Semi Final: Hills District 51 d Camden & District 42
Minor Semi Final: Liverpool City 62 d Campbelltown 55
Preliminary Final: Camden & District v Liverpool City | 6.45pm TUE 5 SEP
Grand Final: Hills District v Winner PF | 6.45pm TUE 12 SEP