Some of the action from the Ballina versus Rovers match last Saturday, in which Ballina slammed home four second-half goals to win 5-3.
Some of the action from the Ballina versus Rovers match last Saturday, in which Ballina slammed home four second-half goals to win 5-3.

Contenders and pretenders

Round five of the Men’s Premier Division pointscore competition should see more exciting football this week when several key matches may resolve a few lingering questions about which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.

The fierce rivalry between Lismore Thistles and Lismore Workers continues with both teams off to impressive starts this season. Rival coaches Ken McPherson from Thistles and Scott Collis from Workers will be increasingly demanding of their squads.

Thistles let Stars back into the contest last week and can expect the Redmen to be a tougher unit to break should they fall behind on the scoreboard. Matt Parrish is in scintillating form for the Blues and will be the man to watch in the game that kicks off at East Lismore at 3pm.

Byron Bay host Goonellabah and both will be coming off mid-week fixtures that keep the pressure on these teams as they manage their heavy schedules. Although Peter Ware can always find a positive in the Ram’s performance, he knows that points mean more than any critique. When the Hornets and the Rams meet, we can expect a contest and 3pm at Byron Bay should see football at its best.

Rod Troughton takes his Ballina team to Pottsville for a 5pm Saturday clash and after coming back from a seemingly impossible 1-3 half-time deficit last Saturday against Rovers, Ballina proved that they are made of tougher stuff. Evergreen Troy Percival turned the clock back about ten years, proving that class is permanent and he is an inspiration to players like striker Troy Cook, who looks to have settled in back home at Ballina.

Rovers are in the unusual position of coming off a loss and coach Tim Sheridan may come with some new strategies against Bangalow, who are winless and also without goalkeeper Nathan Phelps who has copped a suspension that will see him out for several weeks. This game is one of two Sunday fixtures and it may not be a leisurely Sunday stroll for either team as they each need a win and have little to be satisfied with after recent performances. The final game sees Alstonville host Italo Stars in another 3pm kick-off. Villa will start as pronounced favourites and should prove strong enough to get the points.


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