indispensable:Lismore Workers’ experienced striker Wayne Mortimer will be a key player as the Redmen strive to maintain their position on top of the table.
indispensable:Lismore Workers’ experienced striker Wayne Mortimer will be a key player as the Redmen strive to maintain their position on top of the table.

Villa confident as semis loom

A heavy schedule of fixtures lies ahead for most teams, with many catch-up games still to be played. Italo Stars and Lismore Thistles will get things moving when they clash at Barrow Lane at 8pm on Friday night.

Last week was bittersweet for Stars when the euphoria of a solid win Saturday turned to despair with a loss on Sunday, putting them back in the relegation zone. Thistles' season is starting to implode after consecutive losses and with Alstonville breathing down their necks, three points from this game is critical.

Villa blasted seven goals in a demolition of Lennox Head and the team must now be super confident of becoming the first Villa team to ever qualify for the men's premier semi finals.

Thistles also travel to Byron Bay next Tuesday night and points from that game will be vital for both teams.

Weston Park Goonellabah will be the place to be at 3pm Saturday, when the Hornets welcome Byron Bay to the scene of a huge victory over Rovers last Sunday. Goonellabah striker Batok Ring was in fine form, scoring two goals and should he be fit, after leaving the field with an apparent niggle, the Hornets will look to apply the blow torch to the Rams.

Goonellabah are eyeing off a top two finish and must defeat Byron Bay to maintain the momentum. A four-goal bag to the Ram's Jordy Campbell would please coach Peter Ware, as he continues to find a level of consistency for a squad that is abundant in talent.

Two 5pm games are scheduled, with ladder leaders Lismore Workers meeting Alstonville at Richards Oval. Workers have not been at full strength recently, yet continue to dominate sides and the youthful Villa team will be sure to come at them hard and be another test for the Redmen.

Things do not get any easier for bottom-placed Ballina as they meet Rovers, who will be smarting from a loss against Goonellabah. The Seasiders' pitch at Saunders Oval is marginal after recent wet weather and open football may be difficult.

A solitary game will be played Sunday, when Casino RSM are at home to Lennox Head at 2.30pm. Neither side will make the finals but Casino are desperate to stave off relegation.

The final game in the next few days is Tuesday night at 8pm when Ballina host Alstonville.


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