NEAFL ROUND 14
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Southport Sharks (2nd) v Aspley Hornets (5th)
Fankhauser Reserve, 1:30pm
It doesn’t get a whole lot more exciting than this. The reigning premiers Southport taking on the red-hot Hornets, with both sides with plenty of reason to be both confident and cautious.
Round 13 saw the Hornets stun the competition with an 80-point demolition job of the Canberra Demons, proving to many that Aspley still have plenty of firepower in 2019 despite their slow start.
The Sharks are similarly coming off of a strong wet-weather win over the NT Thunder, and sit second with a 9-2 record, with two games of wiggle room between them and the rest of the competition.
Expect a finals-like atmosphere at Southport, neither side will give an inch.
Round 9, 2019: Southport 14.13 (97) defeated Aspley 13.8 (86) at
Round 2, 2019: Southport 8.21 (69) defeated Aspley 8.13 (61) at Voxson Oval
Preliminary Final, 2018: Southport 11.15 (81) defeated Aspley 6.8 (44) at Fankhauser Reserve
1. The Hornets have lost their last three matches at Fankhauser Reserve, while the Sharks have won eight of their last eight nine home games. A ‘fortress’ in it’s own right, the ground has proven a challenge for visitors to play on, and Southport will be keen to put on another strong display in front of their home crowd.
2. In Round 13 the Hornets showed that they are good enough to match it with any opponent. A stunning 15 goal to two first half against the Canberra Demons grabbed the attention of clubs and fans alike, all eager to see how well Aspley can maintain this form. Since their Round 9 loss to Southport, the Hornets have gone 4-0 with an average winning margin of 58 points. A win over the reigning premiers would be enormous for the Hornets and their late-season surge.
3. Both Southport and Aspley have played the NT Thunder over the previous two weeks. Against the Hornets, the Thunder scored 42 points, and the Territorians scored 48 points against the Sharks, however Aspley turned the result into a 52-point win, as opposed to Southport’s 15-point victory. How much can be read into these outcomes is debatable, considering the heaping rain at Southport, however it could be argued the Alice Springs hoodoo the Hornets broke was a similar challenge.
Starring for the Sharks in their Round 13 win over the Thunder, 21-year-old Jamison Shea earned the NEAFL Rising Star nomination for the week. Gathering 20 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s, Shea is quickly becoming one of the Sharks most important players.
STATS THAT MATTER
Aspley’s strength over the Demons was their pressure, and ability to take advantage of Canberra’s mistakes, meaning the Hornet’s scored two third of their points from turnovers. The Sharks are renowned for their strong defence and clean ball use, hopefully ensuing a fascinating battle of contested footy.
Southport… just. Sharks by 3.
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