As we move closer to the 2015 Illawarra Coal League finals, the fight for a finals berth intensifies and this week sees plenty at stake in the scheduled matches.
Helensburgh will look to continue marching towards finals, but they have been a little unconvincing since taking the Challenge Cup final, especially recently when an undermanned Butchers pushed them all the way. With Jason Raper, Eamon Hillen, Khan Salamalikis and others returning from injury they should be able to use the next few weeks to lift the tempo, in preparation for another tilt at Wests in round 15 before we get to finals. This week they host Corrimal who have been putting in very consistent efforts all season, and were rewarded last week when they took another scalp in the Butchers. It’s a tough ask to journey up to Helensburgh and steal the points at any time, let alone when they are at the top of the table. These two clash again as Ziems Park next week in a deferred game.
Sunday will see Thirroul take on Wests at Parrish Park, after they fell to the Cougars last week. The Butchers will have a few troops back on deck who they missed badly last week, in McCarthy, Ruskin, Waterhouse, Blanch and Grose. Joel Johnson also reverts to hooker which is a boost for Thirroul. The Butchers often seem to find something extra against old foes Wests, and the Red Devils would be rueing not getting full points last week when Dapto snatched a draw with them. Injuries have bitten hard into the rosters of most teams including Wests, and there are rumours there could be one or two late withdrawals to key players after already losing Matt Clarke this weekend. Again these two will face off at Parrish Park next weekend in a deferred game, which should make Sunday’s game even more important for both teams. Should the Butchers get up and Dapto win, Wests will be looking over their shoulder at Dapto in a battle for a top two spot.