BRISBANE – CAPITAL LEAGUE 1 – MID SEASON REVIEW BY MERSON KEAN

What a season Capital 1 has thrown up at this halfway point. Here is the story so far.

Well after last year’s non-promotion out of Capital 1, Mitchelton look to be in the driving seat for promotion to the Brisbane Premier League with the reinstatement of promotion and relegation. The Green and Yellow army unbeaten run in the League came to an end when they lost to Bayside United at home back in March. Mitchelton lost the services of striker David Kai (Easts BPL) which looked to be a big blow but as the weeks have progressed the winning ways have returned after the minor blip and look to be odds-on for promotion.

When Bayside United lost coach Ben Ryan to Albany Creek (BPL) with many of last year’s key players also leaving the club, it looked like Bayside would struggle in Capital 1 but that hasn’t been the case. Bayside got off to a flying start winning the first five before a shock 8-3 loss at Pine Hills followed by some more shaky results but back to back wins over Pine Rivers 2-1 and Grange Thistle 6-1 have seen them get back into contention for promotion. The signing of Harun Omerovic has been influential for the Lota-based side scoring 12 goals in 11 games. A bit of a test comes in the second half of the season with a congested set of fixtures after being rescheduled from earlier in the year due to remedial work being undertaken on Don Randall Oval.

Taringa Rovers have impressed this year. Some great victories and key away wins have got them into third on the ladder at the halfway point. The Rovers have a decent away record, with wins over Pine Hills 5-1, Mt Gravatt Hawks 1-0, Moggill 2-1 and Grange Thistle 3-0, four very difficult places to go and win. Steven Chester and Scott Dickson have been key to Taringa’s surge up the table scoring six each.

Pine Rivers United could be deemed as the draw specialists in the League, taking draws from a staggering five out of their eleven encounters, stunting their rise further up the table. Riley Campbell, Omar Hamid and Nick Wadell have racked up some goals between them in a season which has seen the Predators score over thirty goals.

Promotion from Capital 2 hasn’t phased Grange Thistle who have really raised their game and have competed well in Brisbane’s second tier. Thistle were said to have been relegation candidates at the start of the 2014 campaign and the Lanham Park side have proved their critics wrong so far.

A slow start for Mount Gravatt Hawks has been followed up with a great run through April and into May seeing them record some great results including draws with Rivers and Bayside and impressive convincing wins over Southside 4-1 and Thistle 5-2, both away from Dittmar Park.

Southside Eagles have been below par so far based on what we saw last year. A lack of consistency has dogged the side from Memorial Park with the Eagles unable to win on their travels. Another mid-table season seems to be on the cards.

North Pine struggled in 2013 and narrowly escaped relegation to Capital 2 but this year they have improved as the year has gone along. Early in the campaign the Gorillas looked fit for the drop but have impressed after the initial struggles. Craig Parker has been the go-to man for the Gorillas netting seven so far.

Moggill have been a stable Capital 1 club since Mark Dykman saw them promoted in 2010 and their  mid-table standings from recent years have continued into this one. A season of mixed results probably ensures the West Brisbane club will end up mid-table once again.

Pine Hills have had a tough ride this year, caught up in many arm wrestles evidenced by drawing six out of thirteen games. This has left their Capital 1 future in doubt as they are close to the relegation precipice.

Annerley who were promoted into Capital 1 last year have found life in Brisbane’s second tier tough. Currently sitting in the relegation zone, they have just the one win under their belts which came in a 4-3 tussle with Moggill earlier in the season. A lack of goal-scoring ability might consign their fate.

Souths United sit rock bottom of the Capital 1 table and are really struggling with just one win to their names. The green and white have a mountain to climb if they are to pull off a great escape. Souths are struggling for goals with just nine in eleven games and are eight points adrift going into the last half of the season.

PREDICTIONS

PREMIERS – MITCHELTON

PROMOTED – BAYSIDE

PLAYOFFS – MITCHELTON, BAYSIDE, PINE RIVERS, TARINGA

RELEGATED – SOUTHS, ANNERLEY

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