THE Football Far North Coast season came to an exciting finale last Saturday evening in front of more than 2000 spectators at Oakes Oval in Lismore.
The showcase event for local football, the men's premier division grand final, was contested between the two top performing teams this season: Lismore Richmond Rovers and Lismore Workers.
It was Rovers who struck first, with a deft chip from Kurt Brewer-Charles within 10 minutes of the referee's whistle. Rovers held an advantage into the second half when Workers scored through a beautiful strike from Bill Latimer. The Redmen seemed to be building the ascendency when Rovers found the net with a piece of Troy Matthews magic.
Workers however were not to be denied and further goals from young gun Max Harlen and a perfectly executed angled shot from Terry Greedy Medallist, Kurt Walker, took them to their first major title since 2004.
Rovers party was spoiled, after the club had won the premier reserve grade title for an extraordinary tenth consecutive year, and the loss in the main game certainly took some of the gloss off that achievement. They simply blew their main rivals Lismore Thistles off the park with a 5-1 victory, despite Thistles scoring first.
In other grand finals, Bangalow defeated South Lismore in first division; Workers won a nail-biting penalty shoot-out in seconds and titles to Eureka in sixth, South Lismore in fifth, Rovers won fourth and Kyogle created history by taking out the third division trophy.
The women's premier division grand final was settled last week when champions Alstonville completed an undefeated season by beating Thistles, proving that they are the benchmark for women's football in this region.
The Lisa Casagrande Medal was awarded to Ellie Fryer.
The spirit of competition in the 35 grand finals contested over nine days and nights in the past two weeks finally came to a much anticipated finale, ironically under hot, dry conditions.
After a season that was interrupted by many days of wet weather, supporters were finally able to enjoy the beautiful game in an atmosphere of excitement and passion.
A huge thanks is extended to the countless volunteers who are the essence of community sporting organisations. I hope that your experience in 2012 was positive and brings you back next year.
For more information, visit www.footballfarnorthcoast.com.au.
Ed's note - And a big thank you to you Steve for your contributions to The Echo throughout the season.