Its raining goals, hallelujah

Chris Matthews gets away a shot on goal on Friday night. Matthews went off with a hamstring strain late in the game.

With the weather threatening to close in last Friday, there were concerns the rain would halt the opening round of premier league. As it turned out, the only rain we received over the weekend was a rain of goals. Twenty three in all, as the regions strikers went on a rampage in the boggy conditions.

Last years Player of the Year, Rovers Troy Matthews, and former Player of the Year, Lennox Heads Ben Andrews, opened their accounts with hat tricks, and there was a flood of goals in the Byron Bay/Goonellabah game.

In the Rovers vs Thistles match on Friday night, under the new lights at Bill Harris Field, the premiers over ran the valiant young Blues, 5-1, as Troy Matthews regularly found the back of the net.

Thistles went goal for goal in the opening stanza, but when Darren Beardow missed a penalty late in the first half the writing was firmly on the wall.

Ben Cassagrande and Adam Gray picked up the other goals as Thistles inexperienced defensive line buckled under the size and speed of the Rovers attack. It wasnt all good news for Rovers with striker Chris Matthews forced to leave the field with a hamstring tear.

In the Pottsville vs Lennox Head match former Goonellabah predator Ben Andrews dined out on the errors of Pottsville keeper Nathan Wilson as the Sharks mauled the Panthers 3-1. Andrews first goal came from a dropped ball, the second from a fluffed goal kick and the third a charged down clearance. Simon Everingham scored Pottsvilles lone goal as the premier league newcomers put in a creditable performance, if you disregard the keepers gaffs.

Byron and Goonellabah hammered in four goals in the first eight minutes of their match, leaving the the crowd to wonder if they were watching a basketball game rather than a football match. The match calmed to a more respectable pace until Aaron Richter-Steers scored from the penalty spot for the Rams 10 minutes after halftime. This sent the game into another basketball blitz of scoring as the Hornets scored four goals to rush to a 5-4 lead. Rams Bruce Morhaus secured the draw with a late goal in the shadow of fulltime. Morhaus (2), Thiago Priori, Tom Ruhl and Aaron Richter Steers scored for Byron while Dave Arnett, Kale Hopper (2), Jarrad Doyle and Shane Summerfield all found the back of the net for the Hornets.

Bangalow also made a decent contribution to the weekends goal tally, scoring three against last years runner-up, Italo Stars. The young Bluedogs are a fit, enthusiastic pack of scroungers and they brought down and feasted on the ageing Stars carcass with some ease. Conner Benfield, Joel Rudgley and Aryan Fereisch finished off the prone beast with three clean strikes.

Ballinas clash with Lismore Workers was postponed after Saunders Park was closed.

This Saturday Italo Stars should account for Pottsville; Byron Bay and Bangalow will play out a local derby well worth the price of the petrol to Bangalow to attend; Thistles will struggle to contain Ballina; Lennox should take Workers to the cleaners; and Goonellabah will push Rovers into overdrive providing spectators with a fast and furious contest.

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