Pirates, BV primed for round two
Marlborough's top two sides, Rangers Pirates and Blenheim Valley Development, look to further enhance their Top of the South League prospects when second-round action kicks off on the No1 ground at A&P Park tomorrow.
Winners in round one, they are both gunning for major honours in the annual Marlborough-Nelson combined competition and will be hoping to prevail again in games they are expected to win.
First up at 1pm is Pirates' clash against Central, an outfit who were made to pay for not capitalising on their first-half dominance against Development last Saturday. In-form Pirates go in favourites, but the Blues never lie down against any opposition and lost only 2-0 last time the two sides met.
Pirates player-coach Aaron Hayes could not confirm his team, but was optimistic they would have everyone available.
Dominic Romano and Terry Sloan will not feature for Central, but spokesman Steve McCaa said everyone else was on board.
The 3pm match sees Development up against Rangers Saints and will be the fourth time these two teams have met in the 2012 season.
Development won the first two of those in a canter, but things were much closer on the third occasion when they prevailed 4-2 in the Knockout Cup quarterfinals two weeks ago.
However, given the players the respective teams have available, Saints will need nothing short of a big upset to prevent a fourth loss to the BV youngsters.
A full squad will be available to Development player-coach Dave Turner and he was also hopeful former Marlborough Mariner Ryan Way's clearance from Wellington club Miramar Rangers would come through in time. Turner said they were now at the business end of the season and had spoken about lifting their intensity levels for the TOTS league.
Injuries to Ian Lusty and Matt Neal meant Saints had just the bare 11 as of yesterday. Manager Warwick Tempero said they were hoping they could possibly grab a couple of players from division three Rangers Aces to come in as cover.
- The Marlborough Express