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State League: Ups and downs of the final round

Football West News

The final round of the State League season takes place this weekend with promotion and relegation issues still to be resolved.

Here is your guide to what is at stake …

DIVISION ONE

 Ladder

 Final round fixtures

Promotion

Leaders Rockingham City know victory over Fremantle City at home on Saturday will be enough to secure the championship – unless Gwelup Croatia can somehow hammer Western Knights by double figures at Nash Field 24 hours later.

A Rockingham title win would also mean automatic promotion to the National Premier Leagues WA at the expense of Subiaco, who would join Joondalup United and Forrestfield United in dropping out of the top flight.

If Rockingham fail to take maximum points against third-placed Fremantle then that opens the door for Gwelup, who have to better Rockingham’s result to finish on top.

Unfortunately for Gwelup they do not meet the criteria for the NPL WA. So if they do manage to take the title on the final day then that would mean a two-legged play-off between Rockingham and Subiaco to see who plays in the 12-team NPL in 2019.

Relegation

When the final whistles blow on Saturday afternoon, one of Joondalup City or Mandurah City will be consigned to automatic relegation while the other will go into the play-offs.

Joondalup are bottom of the table and three points behind their rivals, so unless they win at home to Ashfield SC then they are doomed. Even if they do claim full points for only the third time this season, Joondalup are still relying on Mandurah losing to Dianella White Eagles to have a chance of remaining in Division One.

The clubs who finish second and third bottom in Division One will then go into a four-team play-off with the sides who finish second and third top in Division Two, to decide which team is in the first division next year.

Mandurah or Joondalup will be one of those sides while the other will come from Dianella and Ashfield, their respective opponents this weekend.

Champions: Rockingham City or Gwelup Croatia

Promoted: Rockingham if they win the title. Otherwise a play-off between Rockingham and Subiaco to see who plays NPL in 2019

Relegated: Joondalup City or Mandurah City

Play-offs: Joondalup City or Mandurah City and Dianella White Eagles or Ashfield SC.

DIVISION TWO

Ladder

Final round fixture

Promotion

As with Division One the two frontrunners can be separated only by goal difference and, once more, it is a substantial amount.

Olympic Kingsway, unbeaten all season, are 11 goals better off than Wanneroo City, who joined their next-door neighbours on 49 points in midweek with a 2-1 win over third-placed Swan United.

Wanneroo, who haven’t lost in 15 matches, can heap the pressure on the leaders on Saturday as their home match with Shamrock Rovers will have finished before Kingsway’s 5pm kick-off away at Curtin University.

As with Rockingham and Gwelup, all Olympic Kingsway have to do is match Wanneroo’s result and they will be crowned champions and celebrating promotion.

Fortunately for the team who miss out on the title, there is another chance. They will head into the play-offs alongside Swan United, who are assured of third spot. They will be joined by the second and third bottom sides in Division One.

How the play-off will work

Semi-finals (two legs)

Div One 9th v Div Two 3rd; Div One 10th v Div Two 2nd

Final (two legs)

Winners of the two semi-finals will meet in a two-legged play-off final to decide who plays in Division One in 2019.

Relegation

There will be no relegation as Amateur champions North Perth United have opted against being promoted to the State League.

Champions: Olympic Kingsway or Wanneroo City

Play-offs: Olympic Kingsway or Wanneroo City and Swan United

Relegated: No relegation