With Labrador, Mudgeeraba and the Waratahs virtually assured a spot in the semis, the final fourth place increasingly looks like going to Burleigh after East Lismore and Coraki went down to tight losses on Saturday and Ballina had to take a scoreless bye.
After resurrecting their place in the competition, Coraki were gallant in defeat for the second week in a row, going down to Burleigh 4-3 on the Gold Coast. In a fast and tight affair Burleighs fill-in keeper Ryan Dodd produced a match winning performance, while for Coraki Trent Brown, Ben Moss and Mitchell Dunstan showed great desperation in a lost cause.
Goal scorers for Burleigh were Matt Freeman with two, while Ed Oldfield and Harry Bisley picked up the extras. Meanwhile, Ben Moss scored twice and Mitchell Dunstan scored the other for Coraki.
On the Gold Coast Labrador held off a fast finishing East Lismore 3-2 to maintain their spot at the top of the comp.
The competitions leading goal scorer, Labradors Brad Puleosi, picked up another two goals in the first half, taking his tally to 27 12 goals clear of his nearest rival.
Mitchell Steele then made matters even worse for the visitors, scoring early in the second half to give labrador a 3-nil lead. Whether Labrador went to sleep or Easts awoke from their slumber is hard to ascertain but the locals bounced back late with goals to Dave Willis and Chris Clark. However, they left their charge too late and came up short. Best for Easts were defenders Jeff Davis and keeper Nathan Hughes, while for Labrador their best were forwards Ben Malby and Brad Puleosi.
Northern Star continued their late season form, this week accounting for the erstwhile Kingscliff side 4-2. Stars confidence continues to grow and this win is even more thrilling as they were without defensive stalwarts Paul Leadbeatter and Bob Barrett. Phil Smiley Hancock opened the scoring for Star with consummate ease and Star extended their lead soon after with the welcome return of Chris McGuiness adding some longed for punch to their forward line. Kingscliff bounced back to post a goal to Marcus Holt which had them behind 2-1 at half time, but with keeper Sam Guru Laskowski away, Kingscliff struggled in defence.
Star sealed the win in the second half with goals to Thomas Vantaggiato and Ryan McGuiness.
Alstonville continued their run of near misses, going down to the Mullumbimby Taipans 2-1. Alstonville have lost most of their matches this year but often by only the smallest of margins. The Redsoilers opened the scoring through Adam Daley but the Taipans had a little bit more flexibility in midfield and pushed forward successfully to take out the match.
This weekend the local men return home to play at Hepburn Park on Saturday Northern Star play the Redbacks at 4.20pm; Alstonville play United at 5.45pm; and Ballina meet Coraki in a local derby at 7.10pm.
East Lismore get the bye.
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