MATCH PREVIEW | Royals open Cross Keys Reserve with epic women's clash v Spring Hills

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Sunday’s Women’s State League 2 North-West clash with Spring Hills FC offers the Essendon Royals a wonderful opportunity to measure just how far they have come this season.

Spring Hills have untouchable this year, winning nine from nine games, scoring 49 goals and conceding just two in the process.

With the league title all but wrapped up, it would take a a disastrous second-half of the season to cost the league leaders the premiership.

The Royals were the first to face Spring Hills this season, losing 5-0 in a result with, which hindsight, does not look so bad given the thrashings Spring Hills have handed out this season.

But senior women’s coach Johnno Clemente is not worried about the past and instead has challenged his team to be the first to provide Spring Hills a genuine challenge this season.

Since that round one match, Clemente’s girls have been similarly unstoppable.

The team has not lost another game since Round 1 and find themselves in third place, just two points behind second-placed Hume City FC with a game in hand following last week’s postponement of the game against FC Clifton Hill.

Sunday’s fixture also has the honour of being the Royals first senior fixture at Cross Keys Reserve.

“We’ve had a great first half of the season having only last the one game, and it was against Spring Hills so we’re eager to get that win back,” Clemente said.

“It’s a great occasion, it’s the first game at Cross Keys Reserve, top-of-the-table clash and two teams on a fantastic undefeated run.

“Credit to Spring Hills, they’ve basically already won the league so I’d like to congratulate them on that, but we’re gonna make it difficult for them on Sunday!

“We’ve shown this year you can never rule this group of girls out so we’ll take the underdog role again and look to use that to our advantage.”

The match kicks off at 3.15 pm at Cross Keys Reserve.

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