Locals to line up for title tilt

ALL SET: Naran Singh and his Demon Knights side need to play with more "intensity and desire" when they line up in the minor semi-final against Oxley Vale Attunga.

ALL SET: Naran Singh and his Demon Knights side need to play with more "intensity and desire" when they line up in the minor semi-final against Oxley Vale Attunga.

The Northern Inland Premier League finals are set to begin with two teams flying the flag for Armidale. 

East Armidale finished second while Demon Knights finished fourth and both will head to Tamworth this Saturday to put their best foot forward in a title tilt. 

Easts will come up against the undefeated Tamworth FC for the major semi-final. 

The last time the two sides met, FC finished with a 3-1 in a firey and physical encounter.

Coach Mark Gwynne believes his side has the ability to hand FC their first loss of the season but they just have to put together a 90 minute performance.

“We know we have got the players on the park to do it, we just have to play a lot smarter than them,” he said. 

“All the boys are confident. 

“We have still got to be smart, just don't get caught with the ball and move it.” 

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In their last outing Easts beat North Companions 2-nil but Gwynne believes they will have to be even better to topple Tamworth. 

“We could play a bit better than what we did and I think we have to go up another notch to beat this FC,” he said.

“We have got to turn up in a positive frame of mind and then play some good footy like we know we can. 

“The little field down there, we have played them on it a couple of times and they seem to get the better of us but this is probably the best team we have had on the park for 10 weeks.” 

For the first time since midway through the season, Easts will travel with a full-strength squad. 

After sitting in second after 18 rounds, DK put in a handful of patchy performances and dropped to fourth. 

Coach Evan Quaife is “hopeful” of a more complete performance and limit their mistakes when they take on Oxley Vale Attunga in a do-or-die minor semi-final encounter. 

“We didn't get the results we required to get a bit higher up on the table, we finished fourth and I hope this weekend all the players really lift for the finals series,” he said. 

“The last two games cost us a higher spot on the table and hopefully everyone will realise that we have probably got to play with a bit more intensity and desire and maybe be a little bit more deliberate with what we do.

“We have made quite a few mistakes in the games, not that we have been outplayed or outclassed or anything, just some fundamental errors and things have cost us goals and hence cost us a result.”

Quaife believes his team have the ability but their mindset needs to be on point if they want to continue deeper into the finals. 

“If we lose it is all over,” he said.

“I more than confident that if we play anywhere near our best we will be awfully hard to beat but, in saying that, you have got to get the 11 players all focus for the 90 minutes, play as a team, minimise the opposition's attacks, take our chances.”