Rovers player Jacob Heffernan in a recent match against Ballina.
Rovers player Jacob Heffernan in a recent match against Ballina.

Fast and physical in state cup

The Southern Cross Credit Union Men’s Premier Division pointscore competition will be played as a split round this weekend, with Byron Bay and Goonellabah competing in the Third Round of the Solo State Cup. Both fixtures will be at the Hornets home ground at Weston Park on Saturday.

Goonellabah meet current leaders of the neighbouring Football North Coast competition and former local champions, Maclean. This game kicks off at 1pm and will pit two strong sides against each other. Byron Bay take to the field at 3pm to meet Woolgoolga FC and with continued talk of injuries to several players, the Rams will need to produce a stellar effort to progress to the last eight in this competition. The winners of each game will likely meet a Newcastle Premier Division side, and having watched a First Division match in Newcastle last Saturday, I can report that the standard is very high, physical and played at a fast pace.

We encourage local supporters of all clubs to come and cheer these teams along as they do us proud. As the normal domestic games for these clubs cannot be played on Saturday, they will play at 8pm Tuesday night, with Goonellabah matched against Lismore Thistles and Alstonville hosting Byron Bay. The other games will be played on Saturday, with Ballina expected to be too strong when they play Bangalow at Sunders Oval in Ballina. The seasiders have had a few hiccups with consistency and coach Rod Troughton will expect a solid win over Bangalow who are stuck near the bottom of the table after six rounds.

It is Italo Stars turn to taste the fury of the Pottsville Beach home turf and being another team that desperately needs points, some magic from key playmakers like Billy Lattimer for Stars may be required.

Rovers will hope that the opening of their new playing surface inspires a vintage performance when they host Lismore Workers. Expectations for both sides are high with sound positions on the ladder. Few sides can boast favourable “for and against” goals at this stage and defence for all sides may be a central theme amongst pre-game talks at the moment.


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