After Round 1 of the Bankstown Umbro Premier League finals series, only four teams remain in both the Reserve Grade and First Grade Competition. This weekend will bring another exciting weekend of BUPL finals football as we will see two teams knocked out of the competition and two teams book their spot in their respective Grand Finals.
Yagoona Lions and Panania Diggers Reserve Grade sides will go head-to-head for their first final of two for their clubs with the loser of this game being knocked out of the competition, while Central Sydney Wolves and Bankstown Sports Strikers Reserve Garde sides battle it out with the winner of this game booking a spot in the Reserve Grade Final in two weeks’ time.
While in 1st grade, Bankstown Sports Strikers and Panania Diggers looked to keep their seasons alive as they clash in the 1st grade knockout Semi-Final, while Yagoona Lions return from their week off to take on Padstow Hornets in an important battle to secure a Grand Final ticket.
Reserve Grade Knockout Semi-Final: Yagoona Lions vs Panania Diggers, 12th August 12:30pm @ Marco Reserve Field 2
Previous Meeting: Yagoona Lions 2-5 Panania Diggers – Rd 16, 2023
Yagoona Lions suffered a disappointing loss to Central Sydney Wolves in last week’s 2nd vs 3rd preliminary final and will be looking to keep their grand final hopes alive as they take on Panania Diggers who were defensively strong in their 1-0 win against Padstow United last weekend.
Panania Diggers were dominant when these two sides last met in Round 16 as a Jack Amy hattrick led his side to a 5-2 victory. Yagoona Lions look to have struggled against Panania Diggers Reserve Grade side this season with Panania Diggers also beating Yagoona 1-0 in their Round 5 meeting.
2nd placed Yagoona Lions will be looking for a more energetic start to their game this weekend after they conceded two goals in the first half against Central Sydney Wolves which meant they had to fight back into the match from two goals down.
Yagoona Lions, Dejan Simonoski was able to get onto the scoresheet last weekend as he has continued to be a threat up top for the Yagoona side, expect him to be the spark for his side if they are to push for the victory this weekend.
Although Yagoona Lions finished second on the ladder this season, Panania Diggers look to be a bogey side for them this season. If Yagoona are to win this weekend, they will need to put their previous results behind them and have a much stronger start to the game this weekend.
4th placed Panania Diggers overcame their first finals test last weekend as they won 1-0 against Padstow United in their preliminary knockout final. Their finals series journey does not get easier as they need to overcome a side that finished above them on the ladder to continue their progress in this year’s finals series.
Liam Binnington was the hero for the Panania side last weekend as his goal in the 57th minute split the two sides to give Panania the win. However, Panania victory ultimately was due to their rock-solid defence which has been strong all year and produce another stellar performance.
Panania will look for another resilient defensive performance this weekend if they are to limit Yagoona’s attacking opportunities and push them to victory.
Knock-out finals don’t get better than this as both sides look to keep their seasons alive in a blockbuster clash this weekend.
Reserve Grade Semi-Final: Bankstown Sports Strikers vs Central Sydney Wolves, 12th August 12:30pm @ Marco Reserve Field 4
Previous Meeting: Central Sydney Wolves 0-4 Bankstown Sports Strikers – Rd 13, 2023
Reserve Grade Premiers Bankstown Sports Strikers return from their weekend off as they look to book a grand final spot for the second year in a row as they take on Central Sydney Wolves who defeated Yagoona Lions last weekend and face their toughest test yet against a strong Bankstown Sports Strikers side.
When these two sides met in Round 13, Bankstown Sports Strikers put on a dominant performance which saw them win the game 4-0. Bankstown Sports Strikers look to be the massive favourites in this match as they were also victorious 4-0 in their first meeting back in Round 4.
1st placed Bankstown Sports Strikers have been dominant in the Reserve Grade Competition this season picking up 13 wins in 16 games whilst also scoring the most goals and conceding the fewest goals in the competition.
Strikers Mark Albro has been a consistent goal scorer this season for his side and looks to be a player that Central Sydney Wolves have struggled to contain in their recent meetings with Mark scoring a total of three goals in their two meeting this season.
Despite Bankstown Sports Strikers being dominant in their two meeting with Central Sydney Wolves this season, they will know from past experiences that anything can happen in finals, and they will need to be at their best if they are to book a grand finals spot this weekend.
3rd placed Central Sydney Wolves proved last weekend that they are one of the top teams in the competition when they defeated Yagoona Lions 2-1 in the 2nd vs 3rd preliminary final and will now look to overcome the best team in the competition so far to book a grand final spot this weekend.
The Wolves Mayas Hamdan continued his goal scoring form last weekend when he scored the first goal of the game against Yagoona Lions last weekend, expect him to try and lead his side to another important victory this weekend.
Although Central Sydney Wolves have scored the second most goals in the competition this season, they were unable to score a single goal in their two fixtures against Bankstown Sports Strikers this season and will need to find a way to create more chances in front of goal this weekend.
A spot in the grand final for the winner this weekend will have both sides fired up, expect both sides to be energetic from the start with a result that could go either way.
1st Grade Knockout Semi-Final: Bankstown Sports Strikers vs Panania Diggers, 12th August 2:30pm @ Marco Reserve Field 2
Previous Meeting: Bankstown Sports Strikers 2-1 Panania Diggers – Rd 15, 2023
Bankstown Sports Strikers return off their 3-1 preliminary final loss last weekend to Padstow Hornets as they take on Panania Diggers who found their form back last weekend against Central Sydney Wolves and look to continue their progress through the finals series this weekend.
When these two sides last met in Round 15, it was a fiery match which saw 14 cards handed out including three red cards as Bankstown Sports Strikers won the match 2-1. Bankstown Sports Strikers have won both of their meetings with Panania Diggers this season which includes their 3-1 victory at Kelso in Round 8. Panania Diggers will be needing to find a way to breakdown the Bankstown Sports Strikers side as they have not been able to do in the past.
2nd placed Bankstown Sports Strikers would be disappointed with their result last weekend after taking an early lead in the first half before conceding three unanswered goals in the second half which stunned the onlooking crowd last Saturday night.
Bankstown Sports Strikers are now left with no second chances in the final’s series meaning they will need to win all their matches if they are to make the grand final this season. However, Bankstown Sports Strikers are a team with players who have experienced finals football in the past and know how to find a result this weekend.
Cameron Campisi has scored three out of the five goals for Bankstown Sports Strikers when they have met Panania Diggers this season; expect Cameron to try and create chances for his side in attack to break open a resilient Panania Diggers defence this weekend.
5th placed Panania Diggers showed their fighting spirit last weekend in their preliminary knock-out final last weekend against Central Sydney Wolves when they went a goal down in the 60th minute before scoring three goals late to win the game 3-1 and progress to the next round of the BUPL finals series.
Panania’s central defender and captain Douglas Nabaki scored the first goal back for his side last weekend as he led his side to victory. He will be important for his side once again this weekend as Panania’s boast a youthful squad and will need his leadership in an important match.
Although they have been unable to defeat Bankstown Sports Strikers this season, expect Panania to play with confidence as they look to be the underdogs in the 2023 1st grade finals series.
1st Grade Semi-Final: Yagoona Lions vs Padstow Hornets, 12th August 2:30pm @ Marco Reserve Field 4
Previous Meeting: Padstow Hornets 3-3 Yagoona Lions – Rd 17, 2023
First Grade Premiers Yagoona Lions returns off a week off as they look to continue their successful 2023 season and book a grand final spot this weekend as they take on Padstow Hornets who will be buzzing after their 3-1 victory against Bankstown Sports Strikers last weekend and looking to use their positive momentum to grab another victory this weekend.
When these two sides last met in Round 17, they were the two from teams of the competition as they drew 3-3 after Yagoona’s Jamie Bazevski scored a 30-yard freekick to rescue a point for his side. Padstow Hornets have not been able to defeat Yagoona Lions this season as they suffered a 3-2 loss to the premiers in Round 9 which was the last time Padstow Hornets lost a game this season.
1st placed Yagoona Lions have proven this season that they have deserved the title of premiers in the 1st grade competition, and they will be looking for another five-star performance this weekend to book a spot in their first grand final appearance since 2011.
Yagoona’s Jamie Bazevski will look to be the spark in attack for the Yagoona side this weekend as he has done all season. Jamie Bazevski has found the back of the net four times against Padstow Hornets this season, so expect him to be tightly marked by the Padstow Hornets side as they look to prevent Bazevski from finding chances in front of goal.
Yagoona have proven in 2023 that they are an attacking machine of a team, however they have conceded five goals against Padstow Hornets this season and they will be needing to be resilient in defence to hold out Padstow Hornets quality attack this weekend.
3rd placed Padstow Hornets are a team in form and understand how to win finals matches as they came from behind to defeat Bankstown Sports Strikers 3-1 last weekend.
Padstow Hornets attackers Mike Cklamovski and Neil Philippou have continued their goal scoring form in the second half of the 2023 season after they both scored in their finals victory last weekend and will be looking to score more goals this weekend.
If Padstow Hornets are to defeat Yagoona Lions for the first time this season, they will need to limit Yagoona’s chances on goal and be clinical with their chances in attack to win the game this weekend.
This fixture shapes up to be a blockbuster of a match as both sides will be desperate to secure a Grand Final spot with a win this weekend.