Hamilton Olympic v Lambton Jaffas
1 pm Saturday 26th August at Darling Street Oval
Last Meeting: Semi-Final – 1st Leg 2017: Lambton 2 Hamilton 1 at Arthur Edden Oval.
Ladder: Lambton 3rd (39), Hamilton 2nd (40)
Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Hamilton – Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Lost Magic 1-2 (h), Won Roosters 4-0 (a)
Lambton – Won Olympic 2-1 (h), Won Jets 4-2 (a), Lost Magpies 1-2 (h)
It’s simply the rivalry that keeps on giving and last weekend Lambton and Hamilton didn’t disappoint playing out another close contest.
Based on their recent finals battles expect this one to go the distance and do be surprised if there is an extra 30 minutes or even penalties after 90 minutes on Saturday.
Effectively it is half-time in this contest, and the big question going into the second instalment is just how crucial will Ben Hay’s stoppage time strike be in the wash-up?
Hay was the best player on the park on Sunday and ended a wonderful match with a strike to remember, and with Jobe Wheelhouse off the park, he was instrumental in the middle of the park.
For Hamilton, coach Michael Bolch is expected to start experienced striker Scott Smith alongside Kane Goodchild at the point of attack, and if their form at Darling Street Oval already this season is anything to go by expect them to link up and ask the Jaffas’ defence plenty of questions.
Incredibly, in three matches this season Lambton have claimed the victory spoils on all three occasions, however, all it takes is a 1-0 win for Olympic and a Jaffas season which promised so much could be over before Grand Final Day.
There will be simply no excuses for either side on Saturday and it is all set up for a cracking showdown. Three matches this season and just a goal between the sides on each occasion.
There isn’t really much more to add, apart from the fact that it may be Hamilton coach Michael Bolch’s last match in charge at Olympic.
It has been an incredible eight-year long spell at the club, and no doubt his side will want to extend his stay for one more week.
Lambton holds the slight edge going into week two, but at Darling Street Oval, Olympic has lost just one of their last eight.
What the Coaches Said:
Mick Bolch (Hamilton)
“I don’t think [our approach] does [change], to be honest. We were always going to need to score a goal this week. Whether we need to win 1-0 or 2-1 to go to extra-time or whatever the score is, to me it doesn’t change. We still go out, same shape, same formation and you just adjust to what happens in the game realistically. If we score first and lead 1-0, they sort of need to come at us to get a goal and if they score first we need to score two. The tactics will change with the flow and the score of the game.”
“It’s more about the players, it’s not about me. It’s all about the players, they deserve to have another chance, another Grand Final after all the hard work they have put in and hopefully they will get their rewards this weekend.”
Key: At halftime in both regular season fixtures so far, this season Olympic were in front. It’s half-time in the finals and Lambton have the lead. Will it be an omen?