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Greater Northern League Round 9 Preview

Published Fri 14 Jun 2024

By Will Braid

Greater Northern League Women

McKenna Park will see a crucial head-to-head battle between two old rivals in City Marians and South Burnie on Saturday in the morning game.

Both sides are coming in on winning streaks and round one was an exciting 3-3 draw suggesting this game could be a classic.

City Marians’ last start was a 3-1 win over West Devonport while South Burnie has held Tamar Churinga goalless in the last two matches it has played.

Bloods coach Karlin Fernandini believes consistent improvement is important.

Our focus is definitely on continuing to build on our basics, team work, and structure,” Fernandini said.

“We have five games in a row before our next break so improving on each game is important.”

Fernandini said a degree of positivity was helped the Bloods over the line against West Devonport from 1-1 with about minutes to play.

“It's hard to put a finger on a specific reason that helps teams get over the line in a tight contest,” she said.

“I've noticed a real positivity amongst our players that helps us keep in the game.

“We have a really supportive group which gives us the confidence to keep chipping away until the final siren.

“Winning is always a motivator, however the main focus will be delivering on our basics and working on our structure.

“Obviously a win will strengthen our position in the top four and give us confidence moving forward.

“It was a tough start to the season.

“However, I think we've been able to come together, particularly in the past few games, (with the majority of our players being available).

“We'll have a few tough weeks coming up, however as long as we can improve on our key focus points each game, we'll be strong contenders at the end.

It's been hard to see so many clubs struggling for player numbers recently, and whilst some weeks we're in the same boat, it's been great to see our players across all grades step up and support our teams wherever they're needed (men and women, juniors and seniors).

“There are some exciting juniors showing their faces and I can't wait to see how they can grow with senior hockey exposure.

From a South Burnie perspective, Assistant Coach Mel Scolyer said keeping Hawks wins coming is a key message.

“We always go in with an objective to come away with a win, I would say the motivation is more around us wanting to keep the wins coming other than breaking the streak of an opponent,” Scolyer said.

“I love a South v City game.

“It’s always hard, fair and passionate.”

The Hawks conceded the first three goals in the round one 3-3 result and will be out to ensure this does not happen a second time.

“We have applied a lot of focus around preparing and starting well to stop this from happening again,” Scolyer said.

“Last time around I was so impressed with the way the team rallied and held our composure given the deficit.

“We hope to control the ball early to set the tempo of the game.

On paper, week to week, City are quite similarly placed to us.

“Both have a good mix of kids and old folk; they will have some Hobart players from time to time but to my knowledge not consistently and it be interesting to see who lines up for them this weekend.”

Top of the ladder Queechy await South Burnie next weekend, but the Hawks are tyring not to look too far forward.

“I don’t think anyone is looking too far ahead,” Scolyer said.

“Each week the discussion is only around our upcoming opponent.

“In saying that, I’m looking forward to the upcoming clash against Queechy to gauge where we are at against the competitions favourites this year.”

Other GNLW games this weekend will be played at Meercroft Park where West Devonport host Smithton at the Northern Hockey Centre between Queechy and South Launceston.

Having dropped last weeks’ game, West Devonport still remain relatively comfortable in the top four and dusting the Saints will help to secure a top four finish.

Caitlin French has started to gather some touch for the Dragons who could climb to third place is they win, and South Burnie do likewise.

The rumoured departure of Smithton’s Argentinian connection could damage the Saints who will be looking to send with popular teammates off in style.

Queechy could land a telling blow to South Launceston’s finals chances it if gets the job done.

With 36 goals in six games, the Penguins are red hot in the circle with the top three goal scorers in the competition all wearing red and blue.

South Launceston has had a battle finding the next this year and come in with a goal different of negative nine but have only conceded 14 goals making this game potentially more challenging for Queechy than it looks on paper.


Queechy 18
South Burnie 16
City Marians 13
West Devonport 10 
South Launceston 4
Smithton 4
Tamar Churinga 1

Goals: Izzie McRobbie (QP) 7, Lucy Cooper (QP), Josie Kremerskothen (QP), Clare Wright (SB) 5.


City Marians v South Burnie – McKenna Park 11:00am
West Devonport v Smithton – Meercroft Park 2:00pm
Queechy v South Launceston – NHC1 4:00pm
Bye: Tamar Churinga


Greater Northern League Men

Queechy has a chance to create some breathing space between itself and the chasing pack hunting down fourth place on the GNLM ladder.

The Penguins hold fourth, a couple of game clear of West Devonport who have the bye this week, and another game in front of their opponent this week, Smithton.

Queechy’s ability to run hard and be fierce in the contest has been a hallmark of recent weeks but this should not phase the mostly young Smithton team which is brimming with talent.

The Saints have now recorded two wins for the year after a slow start and have an outside chance of making finals or at least interfering with the plans of teams inside the top four.

South Burnie host Tamar Churinga at McKenna Park and will be out to score big and maintain pace with Burnie Baptist and South Launceston.

The Hawks have the tightest defence in the competition, led by Jarrad Bomford in goal and Jayden Taylor at full back having conceded just nine goals in 2024.

Tamar is fighting to grab seventh place on the ladder from Launceston City and stave off any charge from City Marians that may see them land the wooden spoon.

City play Burnie Baptist in prime time on McKenna Park, in a top versus bottom clash.

The Bloods will be looking for a competitive showing that will help gain respect while Burnie Baptist are hoping to continue a great start to the season that has yielded six wins from seven matches and 44 goals.

In the late one at St Leonards, Launceston City need a win over South Launceston to keep it finals hopes alive.

While it is not the last chance saloon for LC, a loss could severely dent any aspirations of featuring in the final three weeks of the season.

South Launceston is accustomed to being part of finals and understand the need to finish in the top two with a defence goal difference and will use Saturday's match to boost that figure.


Burnie Baptist 18
South Launceston 16
South Burnie 16
Queechy 15
West Devonport 10
Smithton 8
Launceston City 6
Tamar Churinga 3
City Marians 1

Goals: Khan Riley (BB) 20, Kurt Budgeon (SL) 15, Stu Bowles (SB) 14, Al McBain (SL) 12, Brad Buchanan (SL), Justin Ockerby (LC) 11.


South Burnie v Tamar Churinga – McKenna Park 12:30pm
Queechy v Smithton – NHC1 1:00pm
City Marians v Burnie Baptist – McKenna Park 2:00pm
Launceston City v South Launceston – NHC1 5:30pm
Bye: West Devonport