Two-tier contest kicks off tomorrow

PETER JONES
Last updated 10:58 16/05/2014

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Tomorrow marks a change in the MoreFM Marlborough senior football season, with the competition being split into two separate divisions.

Sixteen teams have just completed five rounds of grading matches, with the eight most successful sides making up the first division and the remainder forming the second division.

All sides start the new phase of the competition on zero points.

Teams will now play seven matches, meeting all the other sides in their division once, before playing three more matches based on their table position.

Action in the first round of the division-one competition pits the unbeaten Biddy Kate's Rangers against Blenheim Valley Development, who will look to build on their two-match winning streak, at A&P No 3 field, with a 1pm kickoff.

Picton United and Blenheim Valley Cobras have both lost only one game this season and face off at Endeavour Park at 3pm in what should be a close match, while Central Pirates will be warm favourites against Blenheim Valley United at A&P No 1 at 1pm.

Blenheim Valley Masters and Central round out the weekend's action in the top division. They meet at A&P No 3 at 3pm.

In division two, Clubs of Marlborough Rangers face Rangers Hammers, Rangers United play Redwood Tavern Masters, Picton City take on the Redwood Renegades, while the Pumprite Trojans are up against Rangers Masters.

Meanwhile, Marlborough Development head coach Dave Turner says he will continue to develop his side's tactical approach, when it plays at home against Wakefield in Nelson's division-one competition tomorrow.

Development recorded a comfortable 5-1 win over Wakefield in round two five weeks ago, but have not won in the past three rounds.

Turner said Development, who are coming off a 4-2 defeat at the hands of unbeaten Nelson Suburbs, were working on new formations and combination play. They would focus on playing up the middle of the field tomorrow as part of Turner's ongoing plan to develop the tactical range of his young players and grow their ability to interpret new game plans.

"The guys need to understand that, if they get selected for higher level football, they'll need to understand what the coach is saying," Turner said. "If you are only able to play a standard formation then you won't be able to interpret what the coach is saying and you won't make the squad."

Development are missing several players as a result of sickness and injury, with Nick Kelly, Robbie Columbus and Jed Thorpe unavailable.

However, the return of consistent performers Taine Swete and Giuseppe Vassalini will bolster their lineup, while Trent Burbidge is also set to make a return.

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The match kicks off at 3pm at A&P Park tomorrow.

- The Marlborough Express

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