BRISBANE – CAPITAL LEAGUE 2 – MID SEASON REVIEW BY MERSON KEAN

One of the tightly contested leagues in Brisbane so far, with so many teams in contention for playoff places, is Capital 2. This is how the first half of the season has panned out.

Holland Park Hawks have really set the pace in the competition this year. The Hawks have been different class and it’s not surprising with the squad and signings they have made. Holland Park have scored 60 goals in 13 affairs and look set for promotion to Capital 1. Hawks signed the experienced Mark Rasmussen from Albany Creek back in April and has been key in the past few weeks. Striker Luke Proctor has 19 goals to his tally and winger Dean Le Petit has netted 13 showing off the Hawks scoring prowess and capability. Hawks have opened up a gap that will be hard to pull back but they also impressed in the Cup this year, knocking out UQFC 4-0 and ran Rochedale close. Luke Carr is one for the future, earning the tag the ‘Geordie Messi’ (perhaps self-identified) and scored two in the cup clash with UQFC.

Capital 2 has seen such a chasing pack, scrapping with each other each week of the campaign. Every time you pick up the fixture list there is always a blockbuster on it. Brisbane Knights had a rough time in Capital 1 last year and are looking to bounce back at the first attempt and are right in the mix going into the business end but inconsistency could end their chances of promotion. Despite a mixed season, they still find themselves in strong contention in a league which is filled with so many teams of the same level making it exciting for the neutral. Brisbane Knights have had some good wins, the most notable being a 4-3 win at Redcliffe PCYC and a 2-0 victory at Western Spirit. The struggle has come from the lesser fancied sides, drawing 3-3 with Samford who at the same time picked up their first point of the campaign.

Newmarket have had a decent campaign this year and find themselves right in the middle of the pack chasing for promotion. Michael McGowan has been influential in Newmarket’s charge up the table netting 15 in the first half of the season but the ball is in Newmarket’s court if they can win their catch up fixture which will see them rise further up the ladder.

Redcliffe PCYC promoted from Capital 3 last year have impressed a lot of folk with some great results in a tight competition. PCYC have been playing some great stuff, former Peninsula striker Steven Cleary in fine form rattling in 12 goals and forming a great combination with Nathan Offer who has 11. The Dolphins quest to secure a playoff place looks on track based on current form.

Ipswich City Bulls got off to a horrible start sitting rock bottom in opening rounds but a last minute equaliser in the derby at Western Spirit kickstarted their season and they haven’t looked back since. The Bulls went a staggering seven games unbeaten before they narrowly lost 2-1 to Newmarket in mid May. That run included wins over Holland Park and The Gap which give them a shout for promotion.

Western Spirit have had a mixed campaign so far and it’s difficult to know which Spirit will turn up. One week they see off Holland Park, the next they go down to Park Ridge. Gaining consistent results will be the key factor which decides what division they play in next year.

Park Ridge came out of the blocks firing this year winning the first four games before they fell to Holland Park. That started off a bad patch for the Panthers and they haven’t got properly in their stride since. Ridge are still in with a chance as the Capital 2 table is so tight but they will have to hit a run of good form to get them back into the season-starting form and remain in touch of finals contention.

The Gap haven’t been at the races this year with a poor season based on their expectations but nothing a few wins can’t change. A cracking win away at Brisbane Knights may give the Gators some confidence and push them up the ladder but their main problem seems to be consistency and the concession of far too many goals so far. The Gators finals quest will be helped in the next four rounds as they play the four bottom clubs.

Slacks Creek have struggled this campaign in a season which has seen them hovering around near the low reaches of Brisbane’s third tier. The Logan based club are just three points ahead of the drop zone after a vital win over Samford.

Kangaroo Point Rovers perfect campaign in 2013 hasn’t carried over into 2014. After claiming the Capital 3 title last year and going deep in the Canale Travel Cup both last and this year, they are at the wrong end of the Capital 2 table. KPR got off to the perfect start in round one picking up an away win but since then they have found life hard and the Raymond Park club sit very close to the relegation zone.

Oxley United have had a poor season right the way through and the next couple of weeks will make their Capital 2 future clear when they take on lowly Samford, Slacks and struggling Brisbane Knights. Oxley have just two wins to their names and results will have to pick up very soon or relegation to Capital 3 will be the case.

Samford Rangers have had the season from hell this year. With just one point to their name, relegation looks a certainty. They will be able to draw confidence from their last outing’s 3-3 draw with the Brisbane Knights and will need to start to pick up wins to avoid a stint in Capital 3.

PREDICTIONS

PREMIERS – HOLLAND PARK HAWKS

PROMOTED – NEWMARKET

PLAYOFFS – HOLLAND PARK HAWKS, NEWMARKET, IPSWICH CITY, REDCLIFFE PCYC

RELEGATION – OXLEY, SAMFORD RANGERS

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