Time for the final showdown
COMETH the hour, cometh the man is a phrase often coined to reflect moments of great significance.
This Saturday, September 22, is such an occasion, when the opportunity exists for either Lismore Richmond Rovers or Lismore Workers to be crowned Football Far North Coast Men's Premier Division Champions for 2012.
This clash will see the two best credentialed teams square off in the season decider after Rovers edged out Workers to claim the pointscore title by a solitary point. Rovers will be contesting an extraordinary seventh consecutive major title in which the powerful East Lismore club has maintained dominance despite a series of changes to player personnel and coaching staff. It is difficult to find a chink in the Rovers armour with seasoned custodian Andrew "Swampy" Marshall having a powerful squad in front of him, with experience, skill and blinding speed. Imposing defenders Joel Saye and Sean Baker will make it difficult for Workers to penetrate, and with tough midfielder Russell Dent matched with classy Luke McWaide, defence can be quickly turned into attack. Up front, former Golden Boot winner Troy Matthews has a knack of turning half chances into goals with his uncanny ability to find space in the box.
As well as an impressive starting eleven, coach Brian Bugden has the luxury of calling on reserves that would find a spot in many premier teams.
If the accolades for Rovers sound impressive, Workers can boast just as many players who could give the Redmen their first major title since 2004. There is more youth in the Workers squad than their opponents', but players like Jay Keevers, Kurt Walker and Max Harlan are very special footballers. Match this with reliable campaigners like Clint Willoughby and Bill Latimer, who have grand final experience, then throw in generational players like Wayne Mortimer with Steve (Moose) Morrissey and coach Collis has a very handy side. Towering young keeper Simon Cleaver adds energy to a defence controlled with composure by captain Duane Hoare, conceding the least of any premier team this season.
Did I forget to mention the 2012 player of the year, Martin Kelleher? This lad has performed beautifully this year, scoring goals almost at will and proving to be enigmatic to opposition sides on the flanks for Workers.
With two huge supporter bases, we can expect these teams to produce a scintillating grand final. Oakes Oval gates open at 11am with Men's Second Division kicking off at 12.15pm, First Division at 2.30pm, Premier Reserve at 4.30pm and the big one, men's premier division at 6.45pm.
The event is a no-alcohol event with a mere $6 entry fee.