A dazzling double for Rovers
Football Far North Coast
The Football Far North Coast premier mens final ended in disarray on Saturday night when Rovers wrapped up the minor and major double with a 1-nil win over an imploded Italo Stars.
Things went pear-shaped for Stars fairly quickly after Rovers were awarded an early penalty when Matthew Olley was pushed over in the box. Troy Matthews promptly converted the dot shot to give Rovers what would be a winning lead in the rain soaked encounter. At the other end Stars appeal for a hand ball on the edge of Rovers five-yard box was waved away (see above photo) and this did nothing for what was already an over-heated Stars line-up.
This anger bubbled over moments later when Billy Latimer brought down Ben Cassagrande in a desperate and reckless challenge on the edge of Stars 16-yard box. The challenge, which completely upended Cassagrande, left referee Luke Mackney with little alternative but to give Latimer his marching orders. Consequently a constellation of about four Stars exploded at Mackney, as the young ref back peddled across the field.
Increasing Stars annoyance, Rovers picked up a dubious penalty midway through the second term, but Matthew Olley failed to convert the dot shot. This left Stars with a small window of opportunity to level the scores but instead Brenton Mumford pressed the self-destruct button to hand Rovers the win. Mumford, frustrated by the excellent tight marking of Rovers central defenders Joel Saye and Scott Coster, threw himself into a disturbing and gratuitous studs up tackle. Mackney was once again left with little choice but to take his red card from his pocket and present it to Mumford. This time Stars completely lost their cool and by all rights should have had two or three more players sent from the field as they rushed the young official in what was an appalling display of ill-discipline.
Not long after that the scrappy, cricket pitch-destroying game came to a end with many of Stars supporters and players still fuming. As Mackney left the field he was sprayed with insults and beer, and one hooded lout even hurled a beer can at him.
It was an unsavoury end to an ordinary match, which did little for the reputation of football on the Far North Coast and for Italo Stars as a club.
Although Stars had a shocker, Rovers had a season to remember, winning the minor and major double in premier, premier reserve and second division plus the major premiership in thirds and the Under 16s titles.
Womens first division
Prodigious football writer (and our very own sales manager) Mark Robinson told us that you could bet your house on Lennox Head winning the womens first division grand final and the Sharks didnt disappoint. However, it wasnt a completely one-sided encounter as a courageous Workers Club managed to keep the scores locked at 1-all until late in the second term when 2007 Golden Boot winner Abigail Allerdyce sealed the win. Lennox Heads Kamley Lyndon scored the opening goal and Renea Cowan levelled the ledger for Workers.
It has been an amazing year for the star-studded Sharks, who won the pointscore minor premiership by 16 points, potting 121 goals while conceding a mere six. Lennox workaholic Amanda Brett was named Player of the Match.