Champagne football for Rovers

Lennox Heads Mike Raeburn clears the ball in front of Rovers striker Troy Matthews as the teams fought out a 3-all draw. The match was a game of two halves with the Sharks scary in the first half, but reduced to whitebait early in the second term.

Rovers finally had the absolute, final, no questions asked right to crack the champagne and celebrate winning the minor premiership after securing a 3-all draw against Lennox Head at Oakes Oval on Saturday.

However, the champagne looked like staying firmly in the bucket in the first half when the Sharks, full of running, kept the ball at their feet, setting up two goals. One to Josh Campbell and the other to the big white pointer Paul Kirkland.

Im not certain what young coach Tim Sheridan said at the break but Rovers came out armed with a harpoon and a will, scoring twice in three minutes, via the two Matthews Troy Matthews and Matthew Olley.

Although the Sharks had taken a body blow they struck back hard with the predatory Kirkland, who hammered a shot into the roof of the net from close range. However, Rovers werent to be denied as Aaron Heffernan forced a desperate defender into an own goal to capture the draw and the title.

The draw means the Sharks lie precariously in fifth spot and will need to keep winning to stay in finals contention. They play Byron Bay this Saturday.

In a stinging victory the Goonellabah Hornets flew into fortress Wherritt Park and laid low a flailing Maclean Bobcats 3-2. The Bobcats were on top early with Travis Armstrong pouncing twice to leap to a 2-nil lead. Goonellabahs Dave Arnett kept the Hornets in the match with a crisp goal before half time, then Kale Hopper tied up the scores just after the break.

The tipping point came when Bobcats flanker Jeremy Walters was removed from the field in a disputed send off and the Hornets took full advantage of the numerical advantage with Peter ONeil hammering in a superb winner.

Byron Bays nemesis, Lismore Workers, has once again disturbed their more vaunted opponents with a 1-all draw in Byron. Cellar dwellers Workers had beaten the Rams 2-1 in the first round and last year they beat the premiers 5-3.

Sam Ferronato opened the scoring for Workers, and the Bay drew level via Shaun Packham just before the break. In the second half the Rams poured on the pressure but simply couldnt convert. Workers will now enter a play-off in a sudden death knockout against South Lismore, Tweed and Alstonville to avoid relegation.

Italo Stars blinded Bangalow 2-1 with two late goals, humanely terminating any hopes the Bluedogs had of a finals finish.

Carlos Argents opening gave the Bluedogs hope until very late in the second half when a soft penalty gifted Bill Latimer an equaliser and Wayne Mortimer played in a cross from Mark Maslen to secure the win.

Meanwhile, Burringbar secured the wooden spoon with a 4-1 loss to Ballina.



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