Local sides progress in state cup
Football Far North Coast premier sides Goonellabah and Byron Bay continue to fly the flag for local football after both recording impressive wins in the second round of the Solo State Cup. Byron Bay dominated their inland opponents Tamworth, winning 5-1 in the match played at Woolgoolga last Saturday. Goonellabah were battling it out with Mid North Coast rivals Taree Wildcats at Maclean Showground and despite clearly being the better side, left it until the final two minutes of the game to record a 4-3 victory.
Both squads will be reaching for the ice packs after a heavy schedule over the past few weeks. Whilst success in the first two rounds of the State knockout games is a real kudos for the local clubs, the Southern Cross Credit Union Men’s Premier Division pointscore competition is the main objective for both teams. All matches will be played on Saturday and after four rounds, two distinct groups appear to be forming, with the unusual situation of not one draw thus far. Maximum points appear to be more critical than ever before and Bangalow must enter their match against Alstonville with this attitude.
Villa defeated Ballina last week and will be confident of beating the Bluedogs who were themselves soundly beaten by Thistles. Ballina face Rovers at Saunders Oval and can expect a tough match after Rovers were stung back into gear after a few losses. The Rovers squad is very strong and few teams could have the same luxury of playing class strikers like Troy and Chris Matthews from the bench. The only thing that will deny Goonellabah from beating Pottsville Beach is either injury or a woeful performance. The Hornets are rampant at the moment and full of confidence. Pottsville are competitive but do not usually perform as well when travelling. Lismore Workers sit in the top half of the competition and with the exception of ageless midfielder, the durable Anthony Alvos, have no absolute stars. The Redmen do however have a cohesive, enthusiastic side who are capable of defending well and finding the net with enough frequency to win football matches. Lismore Thistles and Italo Stars are both physical sides and a 5 o’clock kick off at Barrow Lane will definitely have a great atmosphere about it.