Geared up for semi-final showdowns

Published 4:05pm 7 September 2023

Geared up for semi-final showdowns
Words by Nick Crockford

Six senior sides from Moreton Bay United and Peninsula Power are ready for semi-final showdowns in the state’s top football tier this weekend.

Each has three teams in semi-finals. Victory for the men’s and women’s sides will book a trip to Suncorp Stadium for the grand finals.

Power’s NPL Qld men kick-off the semis on Friday with a trip to the 2023 premiers Gold Coast Knights (7.30pm).

Knights have won 14 and lost one of their last 21 NPL fixtures. Power is unbeaten since May – winning nine and drawing six of 15 NPL games.

On final league positions it is a clash of first against sixth. On current form it's first against second, says Power's Head of Senior Football Ben Ryan.

Power released five senior players before the late change expanding the finals from the top four to top six, but still comfortably beat Gold Coast United 3-1 in the opening round.

Geared up for semi-final showdowns
Moreton Bay United and Peninsula Power, pictured earlier this season, are chasing a grand final finish. Picture: Kylie Wells Images

"The message has been clear for the last two weeks," Ryan said, "we have nothing to lose, so just go out and enjoy it."

Moreton Bay United Jets are in its first semi-final since 2018 having finished runners-up in the regular season, 12 months after just escaping relegation.

Jets host Brisbane City at Wolter Park on Saturday (6pm) looking to capitalise on one of the best home records in the regular season.

“Our home form (7 wins, 2 draws in 11 games) has been good and our support at Wolter Park – and the energy that gives – will be very important,” captain Declan Smith said.

“We’ve had a week off and I think it worked for us. We did a session on Saturday, fine-tuned tactics and haven’t lost any momentum. It’s going to be a great game.”

City, like Power, were late additions to an expanded finals series and have won five of their last seven NPL games, including beating Lions last weekend.

Geared up for semi-final showdowns
Jets' captain Declan Smith who says home support will be a boost in tomorrow's semi-final.

Power and Jets’ Under 23 teams are also in semi-finals, showing the strength of development with each club finishing in the top four.

Jets scored two goals in the last six minutes to stun Lions 2-1 and snatch fourth place from their hosts. They travel to premiers Knights on Sunday (1pm).

Power’s Under 23s drew their last match 1-1 but that was sufficient to finish third and book a trip to runners-up Gold Coast United on Sunday (4pm).

In the NPLW, third-placed Power travel to runners-up Easts on Saturday (7pm) in their semi-final clash

Easts had the better of the regular season games and are in form, but Power will field two of the NPLW’s top four scorers, Bonnie Davies (25 goals) and Sara D’Appolonia (17).

Sunday also sees Moreton Bay United’s Under 23 women, who finished third in the second tier FQPL1, make a semi-final trip to runners-up Virginia (3pm).

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