Hornets face the awful truth

Mens premier league

It was caviar last year but could well be bread and water this year for the Goonellabah Hornets, as the minor premiers face the horrifying possibility of relegation in only their second year back in the top flight.

The awful truth dawned on the Hornets yesterday afternoon after their 4-nil loss to Rovers was compounded when fellow cellar dwellers Thistles knocked over Ballina 2-1. Its a very sorry plight for the Hornets, whose fortunes have dipped in an unprecedented fashion after taking out both the Northern Premiers Cup and the Anzac Cup at the beginning of the season. The win, thanks to goals from Ian Gregory, Ben Cassagrande, Russell Dent and Adam Gray, settles Rovers into third spot on the ladder.

Meanwhile, the star-studded Italo Stars finally started to live up to their billing on Saturday, knocking off the previously undefeated competition front runners Byron Bay 2-nil. Stars surged out of the blocks at light speed, nailing two goals before the Rams got their fetters off. Stars Mark Maslen and Wayne The Entertainer Mortimer did the damage as they both slipped behind the defence to find the back of the net. The shell shocked Rams came back hard but the Star defence, particularly goal keeper Trent Battistuzzi, produced some spectacular work to keep a clean sheet.

As previously mentioned, relegation candidate Thistles overcame Ballina 2-1 at home but the win was an impressive one considering they played three quarters of the match with 10 men. Adam Smee was sent off after an intimate tackle on Clint Colless led to a bit of South Park-style Roshambo. Despite the one man advantage, Ballina failed to capitalise until midway through the second half when Tyson Price scored. All this seemed to do was inspire the young guns in the Thistles line-up and they struck back twice through 15-year-old Tom Boland and Jacob Arthur to snatch an upset.

Macleans fortress, Wherritt Park, has been the site of more scalpings than Little Big Horn and this Saturday it was second placed Lennox Head who fell to the Bobcats 4-3. Lennox Head striker Paul Kirkland nailed a hat-trick but it wasnt enough against the quixotic Maclean, who could conceivably beat any team at home. The Bobcats Gary Carmichael, Erris Dufficy, Izaac McClymont and Travis Armstrong scored in the intense match.

Lismore Workers almost went belly up against last placed Casino again this season, surviving a couple of close chances to win 2-1. The Redmens Tom Guttormsen scored from the spot and also from open play. Stewart Coughran nailed a dot shot to narrow the margin but the Lismore men held out, just.

This weekend crowds will be treated to the long awaited match-up between first and second on the ladder, Byron Bay and Lennox Head. The two front runners are both coming off a loss so both teams will be keen to atone. This match will be played in Skennars Head. Stars will be keen to continue their good form and knock off Workers at Rec 12, while the Bobcats will make their way to East Lismore to match it with Rovers. These games all get underway at 3pm on Saturday.

The next most vital match will be between Goonellabah and Ballina as both teams can smell the humiliation of relegation. This game will be held in Ballina, while the other potential relegation candidates Casino and Thistles play in Casino. Both games start at 5pm.

Womens first division

Lismore Workers travelled to Crawford Park in Alstonville and came away with a 8-1 win. Workers dominated the game from the start and had not Alstonvilles keeper Lisa Parkin pulled off some great saves the score could have been astronomical.

Jenna Gollan scored a hat-trick for Workers with two goals apiece for Sheree Coubrough and Renee Cowan and one for Kim Wraight. Alstonvilles solitary goal was scored by Kirra Weingarth, who celebrated her 16th birthday with a composed finish. Injury and prior commitments left Alstonville with only nine players for the match. Best for Villa was Katie Hannah.

Goonellabah played a home game against a depleted Ballina, winning 6-nil. Two goals each for Golden Boot contender Felicity Kerslake and fullback Thaya Evendon and one each to Miranda Cannon and third division substitute Tess Pearson. Best for Ballina were Libby Zulpo, Natasha Barnden and stand-in keeper Sophie Shelton.

Richmond Rovers trip to Byron was well worth the effort with Rovers defeating Byron 6-nil. Katie Parker was best for Rovers and scored two goals as did Marty Edwards, while Richelle Freys and Hayley McAnelly scored one. Byron did well to hold Rovers to nil all by half time, due to some great saves by Riley Harrison and Tanika Hands always efficient sweeping.

Local stars to take on Gold Coast

Football Far North Coast (FFNC) has announced an all-star senior team to represent the local Premier League against the Gold Coast at Carrara Stadium on Saturday, July 15.

Following a poll of all Tursa Premier League coaches and an initial training session FFNC coaching and development manager John Sowter has named a solid line-up of talent to represent the region.

The full squad is: Kai Connell, Alex Pratt, Chris Cranmer, Aaron Richter-Steers, Brendon Keevers, Adam Holmes, Jack Williamson, Russell Dent, John Bradbury, Sean Packham, Clint Willoughby, Anthony Alvos, Bruce Morhaus, Kevin Crofton, Damien Keevers, Troy Percival and Tom Guttormsen.

Tickets for the event can be purchased either at Carrara Stadium or through Gold Coast Soccer on (07) 5579 9544.


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