Northern Inland Premier League: East Armidale and Demon Knights do battle for decider spot

KEY: Naran Singh is DK's top goal scorer this year.

KEY: Naran Singh is DK's top goal scorer this year.

Two local teams are vying for the chance to take on Tamworth FC in the Northern Inland Premier League grand final. 

East Armidale have had the upper hand in two of their three clashes against Demon Knights but, with a place in the decider up for grabs, this Saturday’s semi-final has more at stake than their previous encounters. 

East Armidale spent much of their clash against FC with 10 players on the field but coach Mark Gwynne said his team will put the defeat behind them. 

“DK are always tough but in saying that we are pretty confident,” he said. 

“It is just up to us. We have to play good football, keep the ball on the deck and move them around.

“It will be very close but it will just be who turns up on the day.

“We have got to lift from last week and they probably have a lot of confidence from beating OVA.”

Gwynne is expecting a tight scoreboard and has the belief that whoever prevails, has the ability to topple FC in the decider. 

“I don't think there is much between us but last time we played we seemed to manage them pretty well but we just have to defend well and play smarter when we have got the ball,” Gwynne said. 

“Whoever wins, I think either team can beat FC you just have got to not get sucked into all their crap.”

Jake Davies is the only out for East Armidale while Demon Knights coach Evan Quaife said his team will take the field unchanged from when they toppled the Mushies. 

“Probably got two of my strikers unavailable, like last week,” he said. 

“Naran Singh played up front last week and he has got 14 goals or something this year so he is pretty handy to have. 

“It doesn't really matter what position he plays, he will get goals but he is probably a bit more dangerous when he is closer to the goals up front.”

Quaife is “quietly confident” his team can get the win and progress to the grand final.

“Against Easts, if we play anything like we did last week we will be very hard to beat again,” he said. 

“There is a bit of a swagger around everyone again this week at training so we are looking forward to the game against Easts.

“The winner makes the grand final so there is an incentive to win that game. 

“I feel an air of confidence about us which I haven't had for a few weeks but I feel we will do well on Saturday. I think it will be a good game.”

No matter who wins one thing is guaranteed – Armidale will have a team to barrack for in the grand final.