Urunga Raiders V Maclean Bobcats Rnd 8

Macca going down
Jai Waddick sniffing out a half chance

The Urunga Raiders could’ve dropped out of the top four of the North Coast Hotel Group Premier League last weekend had results not gone their way. Sitting in fourth position largely due to the fact they have two matches in hand (V Orara Valley this weekend and Coffs Tigers sometime ahead) it perhaps shone a larger light on this match V Maclean Bobcats. The Cats an improving outfit for sure sitting in 6th position and looking to upset Paul Pomroy’s Raiders at the Cabbage Patch no easy task one would have to consult the archives to find tout the last time that happened. History doesn’t dictate the future and the Bobcats shot out of the blocks on that svelte surface of the Cabbage Patch.
The Raiders without several players for this one (Lockie Indian Manning, Cale Hopper, and Tim Rupprecht) feeling early heat as the Bobcats closed down most attacking forays by the home side and referee Dave Connor doing well not to throw out a few early yellow cards as the Cats thundered in–but that would come later. First real chance fell to the Ginger Bread Man-Jai Waddick after Ben Dooley threaded a neat ball across the Cats goal and Waddick under immediate pressure fizzed his shot wide. It all came at the end of some fast Raider work Grant Homes and Craig Turtle opening up a half chance midfield and Dooley able to capitalise on the gap. Few other chances presented in the first 45 with both sides working hard but you could sense the stretching of an increasingly desperate Maclean defence on a number of occasions. However at the beak it was a 0-0, the second half but a pup before the Bobcats had their best opportunity of the match a long ball not dealt with by the Raiders backs and the ensuing left side cross found the Cats forward who absolutely nailed his shot but Lee Kennedy leaping to his right good enough to parry the strike. And that was as close as the Cats got, the home side gained a larger share of the ball and increasingly the Bobcats defending inside their own half. Tanjil Everrett the orchestrator of the first goal finding Josh McGovern who’d run diagonally across the Cats defenders. Everrett’s pass enticing the Bobcats keeper out but Macca, look he’s like a dog in a butcher’s shop in these situations and took off after the ball like it was a tasty pork chop, he got their first pushed the ball around the keeper who then collided with McGovern. Dave Connor in position pointed to the spot as McGovern got up only to be pushed back down by an irate Cats keeper claiming Macca had dived. It wouldn’t be the first time the Mac Daddy had kissed the turf after a slight touch but not this time, the keeper had misjudged and Macca was too quick and Mr Connor changed his aim from the spot to the sheds, the Cats down to 10. The replacement keepers first touch was to pick the ball out of the net, McGovern converting the penalty and the Raiders 1 to the good.
The final 30 minutes or so had the Bobcats battling hard but the contest over after Jake Lesie fired in a cross for Ben Dooley to slide into the Mclean net. Sustained Raider pressure now, the yellow cards flicking out of Dave Connors pocket at regular intervals and perhaps the sides thinking about a frostie back at the OVH.
Final score 2-0, Pomroy commenting post-match ‘that while he was pleased with the result and the efforts of an adjusted sided the finishing in the final 20 minutes needs to be more clinical’, sage words indeed as the Raiders look to this weekend where they will play one their catch up matches V Coffs Tigers and that should be just the way to enjoy a long weekend, see you there!
In other results the Raiders reserve grade spent several hours in the room of mirrors sans clothes having a good look at themselves after a 6-2 drubbing, coach Campbell unable to comment post match. The Women’s sides a good weekend the ressies drawing with Nambucca 0-0 while first grade 4-1 winners over Coffs Tigers and playing solid football.

Everrett like a rock at the back