Megan Croxford will be looking for open space in Cap Coast’s women’s grand final against the JPL team tomorrow.
Megan Croxford will be looking for open space in Cap Coast’s women’s grand final against the JPL team tomorrow. Picture by Megan Lewis

Lower grade footy set for weekend

WITH Gladstone being the venue for the Capricornia League final this weekend, the lower grade matches have all been scheduled for Yeppoon's Apex Park.

The games are set to be played in two stages with two matches tonight and a further couple set down for tomorrow.

With the Capricorn Coast club involved in three of the four finals matches it should be a festival of football for the coastal town.

The opening final of a busy weekend is in the under-18 division where Capricorn Coast will be hard pressed to gain a win over the JPL side.

Throughout the league program it has been JPL that has provided the football benchmark and goes into the match unbeaten.

That should mean little to the Cap Coast side as this is the big one where the “winner takes all” and it will be boosted by the fact it has come close to causing an upset over the division's minor premier.

The late game on Friday is the third division final and again the Capricorn Coast club is represented with its minor premier team against Parkana Lightening.

There is little between these two sides with Capricorn Coast taking the title by one point from the Lightening while the teams fought out 1-1 draws in their two meetings during the season.

The women take centre stage on Saturday and what a cracking game this one should be as Capricorn Coast will fancy its chances of taking the title when it meets JPL.

Trying to gain a measure of where the two teams are at is difficult as they both defeated Nerimbera Magpies by 3-1 to earn their place.

While both teams are very young, Capricorn Coast has a slight advantage as most of its players were involved last year when the side was beaten in the final by Magpies.

The key for the Coast could be the form of Leah Parker, one of the most talented footballers on the local scene, and the pace Reagan O'Grady injects into the Capricorn Coast forward line. Megan Croxford is another weapon in the armoury of Coast's coach Rick Parker.

The JPL team can not be denied as it is crammed with talented players.

Defensively, coach Dennis Jeffries raves about the ability and consistency of defender Jaymee Birleson while the whole of team's midfield is tidy and the attack is capable of scoring goals.

Hollie Boyle is unlucky to miss out on this one as she was sent off last week at Webber Park and is replaced in goal by Rikki Richards.

In the second division final, Nerimbera go into the game as the minor premier but Parkana must be favourite.

The team representing Nerimbera is the club's reserve side and contains players who are either trying to break into the top team, no longer required by the Capricornia League side or who just enjoy lacing the boots up for a run on a Saturday.

The Parkana situation is slightly different as the club no longer has a recognisable Capricornia League side and that has made selection for the division two team the main objective.

During the year the team's met four times with Parkana holding a three wins to one advantage. That match will get underway at 5.30pm.

Football CQ president and Football Rockhampton secretary Gwen Fox yesterday wished all the teams participating in this weekend's grand finals good luck. “We congratulate all the teams for making the grand finals,” she said.

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