BROADMEADOW striker Peter Haynes is confident Magic’s senior players will rise to the occasion tomorrow against a desperate Edgeworth and kick-start their run at back-to-back Northern NSW State League titles.
A string of narrow wins and draws in the past two months have put Broadmeadow behind the Jets Youth and leaders Hamilton Olympic in the reckoning for titles this season, although equal-second Magic are still in the race for the minor premiership with two rounds to play.
They and the Jets trail Hamilton by a point.
Broadmeadow set high standards with their record-breaking regular season in 2011 and led the competition early this season.
However, injuries to senior players Haynes, John Bennis, Josh Piddington and Chris Berlin contributed to Magic’s campaign losing momentum.
But Haynes, last season’s state league player of the year, is confident Broadmeadow will lift for the business end of the season, starting tomorrow at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
‘‘We probably haven’t had the best couple of months, for whatever reasons, you have your peaks and troughs through the season and we’ve probably hit a trough at the moment,’’ Haynes said.
‘‘We put in a good performance last weekend [a 2-0 win over Lake Macquarie] without being outstanding but it was an important win for us.
‘‘The boys are still confident, we know within the group we’ve got a team that can go out and beat any team on their day. We’ve proven that over the last couple of years.
‘‘Hamilton are in the box seat at the moment, all we can do is try and go out there and get results in tough matches against Edgy and the Jets. All we can do is win those games and see where we end up.
‘‘But we’re still in the mix and we will definitely give it a crack whether it’s a premiership or in the finals.’’
Broadmeadow lost several key players from last season’s squad but retained the nucleus of their line-up.
Haynes said that nucleus of players needed to lift and believed sending out departing coach Damien Smith on a high would provide extra motivation.
‘‘The guys who have come in, the young boys, have been outstanding and been the most consistent ones,’’ he said.
‘‘We need to give Damo the farewell that he deserves and we’ll see what we can do about that.’’
Magic will be sweating on the fitness of Shane Paul (hip) but they have Scott Pettit back from suspension and Rhys Tippett returning from a virus which sidelined him for two weeks.
Edgeworth’s remarkable run to the finals hit a snag last week when they lost 4-1 to the Jets.
The Eagles had gone on an eight-game unbeaten streak to get into fifth spot, but they now trail South Cardiff by a point in the fight for the last play-off position.
Edgeworth skipper Mark Wilson said the spirit in the side was still strong and they would put it all on the line against Magic.
Wilson said the Eagles missed Josh Sparke (calf) and Shane Knight (hamstring) in the loss to the Jets but they hoped to have them back tomorrow.
In first division, Lambton Jaffas can wrap up promotion with a result against Belmont Swansea at Arthur Edden Oval today. Tomorrow, Adamstown host Singleton, Cessnock travel to Maitland and Toronto Awaba welcome Thornton.