For the second consecutive year, Herston Hatchets will take on QUT FC in the semi-final of the Sunday Premier League. The game has been massively hyped on social media throughout the week, and is sure to be a tight contest.
Last year’s final: An undermanned Hatchets side went down 2-1 in an anticlimactic game. Despite missing several key players, and being forced to deploy centre-back Simon Bennet as a makeshift goalkeeper, UQ went ahead early through a Jenya Demidenok header. However, sustained QUT pressure resulted in an equaliser and subsequent winner, both from set pieces. Lacking in quality and quantity, UQ were unable to force the game to extra time.
This season: The first meeting resulted in a disappointing 2-1 loss for the Hatchets. The game was a dour one, and defined more by the poor quality of the Prentice Park playing surface than anything else.
The next match between these two teams was again on a poor playing surface, this time on the training pitch at Jack Speare Park. This time, Herston used their strength and physicality to batter QUT into submission, scoring an amazing five goals on the counter.
Just five days later, the teams played again on a Friday night. This was perhaps the most highly anticipated game of the season, and it didn’t disappoint. QUT fielded a team of skilful individuals, and the Hatchets played an extremely organised and tactically aware game to win 3-0, again on the counter-attack.
Players to watch: For the Hatchets, Sonesh Amin will be looking to follow up his fine form last weekend with a good game. Much of the Herston attacking play will be going through him and Kregg Laundon, who, in the absence of talismanic striker Demidenok, will have to fire if UQ is to have any chance.
For QUT, there are an absolute plethora of players to watch, but only in the sense that they have fielded three essentially completely different teams in the three games against UQ this year, and it is a mystery as to who will lace up the boots this week.
Kick-off: Opperman Park, Bethania, 11am.