North Coast Hotel Group Premier League
Urunga Raiders V Sawtell Scorpions Rnd 6
The table topping Sawtell Scorpions may still be scratching their collective carapaces thinking about just what they could have done to thwart the 6-1 drubbing that the Raiders handed out last weekend on the svelte surface of the Cabbage Patch for round 6 of the North Coast Men’s Premier League. They’d played five games so far, 4 wins and one draw, perhaps some opponents of dubious quality for sure but 3-2 over Coffs Tigers and 0-0 V Bombers they most certainly are a different side to 2016 where they were regularly flogged by all and sundry. At the start they looked to have the measure of Paul Pomroy’s Raiders, good shape and adjustment as the Raiders moved the ball around but it was all smoke and mirrors. Jacob Leslie from left back whacked a pass for Ben Dooley to deflect past over an over eager defender Leslie who had continued his run collected the ball and slotted the finest goal that ever left his boot on 15 minutes, Brody Olabarriaga the Scorpions keeper left grasping at the trial of the out swinging Leslie strike.
The Raiders 1 up early at home, the Scorpions blinked and just went back to the business a testament to the new attitude of the green and whites, moving the ball where they could but not really getting their main strike weapon Luke Troy France into the positions that hurt oppositions and I suppose credit due to the Raider’s Tanjil Everrett, Mick McCormick and Jake Leslie for restricting France to only glimpses of the ball and then under pressure.
Leslie gathered his brace on 31 minutes, again chiming in with Ben Dooley, who’d held the ball up and I mean he was stationary, in-situ just still and the defending scorpions closed in eager to get a piece of Dooley but as he rolled off one defender a small gap appeared and Dools sent a well weighted pass for Jacob Leslie to collect and fire in his second for the day in quick time.
It was the Raiders 2 up at the break and the home side looking ominous but the Scorpions are made of sterner stuff this season and certainly possess more quality with the likes of Hayden Purkiss and Xavier Sproule sure to make their mark as the season progresses. Fabrice Wamara so close at the start of the second half thumping a volley off the Scorpions crossbar, the home side making it 3 up shortly after after Tim Rupprecht gathered a poorly hit pass and good enough to find a way past Olabarriaga. The Raiders went on to score three more, Lachie Indian Manning cleaver header for number 4, the penultimate goal for the Raiders to Ben Dooley after Cale Hopper had fired in a cross for Dooley to meet mid-air and twist guiding the ball into the net with his trailing leg completely deceiving Olabarriaga sublime piece of skill, the final goal to Cale Hopper a dead set shoss that one (cross that turns into a shot) for 6. Scorpions a late consolation goal to the mercurial Jackson Petrie who hit a tracer like shot past Lee Kennedy to produce a final score line of 6-1. Good win for Pomroy’s Raiders as they now look to this weekend where they’ll face the Lions at Maclean street in a 2016 grand final replay, kick-off at 2pm Sunday – look you just have to be there!
In other results the Reserve grade fixture was won by the Raiders a hard fought 2-1 win both goals to Joe Pettit who really enjoyed the eighty-seven minutes he played, Matty Marsden, Grant Homes and Jack Myers all with solid performances. The women’s Reserves down 2-1 to Sawtell in a much improved performance and the first grade smashed Orara scoring 11 unanswered goals.
Go you Raiders!