Byron Bay’s Tim Knight (left) jumps for the ball against Thistles in Lismore on Saturday. Thistles won 4-2.
Byron Bay’s Tim Knight (left) jumps for the ball against Thistles in Lismore on Saturday. Thistles won 4-2. MARC STAPELBERG

Annetts heads for goals record

GOONELLABAH marksman Dave Annetts has an all-time scoring record in sight after bagging another four goals in the Hornets’ 6-1 demolition of Ballina at Saunders Park on Saturday in Football FNC premier league soccer.

It took only 15 minutes for the deadly finisher to turn two half chances into goals, before another two goals in the second half brought his season tally to a remarkable 21 from 13 games.

With five games remaining,Annetts already has a mortgage on the Golden Boot award, leading his nearest rival, Rovers’ Tim Sheridan, by 10 goals.

In fact, his tally is already enough to have won any Golden Boot since 2001 when Daniel Fung bagged 24 goals for Maclean, but that was in a 12-team league that played four more games.

Details of scoring totals over the years are scarce, but the most in a season is thought to be in the high 20s, giving Annetts a target of 30 goals to claim the record.

While his scoring feats stole most of the limelight against Ballina, Hornets captain Matt Dorigo and his midfield partner Kale Hopper also found the net, as an efficient Goonellabah ground down the Seahorses in the second half.

Ballina’s only goal came from the penalty spot, with Andrew Lundie doing the honours.

With good ball movement and players moving well off the ball, Goonellabah looked sharp and are perfectly primed for their showdown with second-placed Richmond Rovers tomorrow night.

With the Hornets still nine competition points clear of the defending premiers, they can take the minor premiership from Rovers’ trophy cabinet with a win tomorrow night in what is shaping as the match of the season.

Thistles solid

THISTLES have taken a huge step towards cementing a semi-final berth at the expense of Byron Bay’s hopes with a solid 4-2 home win over a depleted Rams line-up.

Nippy striker Jake Nind gave the Blues an ideal start with an early goal, before the Rams hit back with a chip from midfielder Yantra Whitling that deflected off the underside of the cross-bar.

The pace of Thistles’ attack troubled the Bay and they conceded numerous corners, allowing the Blues to capitalise with goals from Daniel Winkler-Maloney and Nind coming from Matt Parrish’s whipping crosses.

Thistles went to the break with a comfortable 3-1 lead, but when a dummy from Rams captain Tom Ruhl set up Batok Thonkol for their second goal, the Bay were back in the game.

It took a breakaway goal from Brenton Parrish to ease Thistles’ nerves and wrap up a vital win that moves them up to fourth.

The result extended the Rams’ winless streak to seven games.

Biggest win

ALSTONVILLE scored the biggest win in its premier league history with a resounding 4-0 result over a lacklustre Workers at Crawford Park, Alstonville.

Goals from Keiran Taituma and Nathan Collins gave Villa a 2-0 lead by half-time then they ran away with the game with two more goals from lively midfielder Daniel Baxter-Wright.

For much of the season Alstonville have had little reward despite playing a well-structured game, but their consistency is starting to pay off and they now stand a chance of being the first Villa side to reach the semis.

Alstonville can now snatch fifth place from Workers if they win their catch-up game against Ballina tomorrow night.

Workers play the top three sides in their next three games and their semi hopes are fading.

A goal to See

RICHMOND Rovers kept their faint hopes of a fourth consecutive minor premiership alive thanks to a blistering free kick from Jonathan See in their 1-0 home win over a gritty Italo Stars.

A makeshift Stars line-up gave away few chances, but there was nothing they could do to stop a sensational shot from See on the 35-minute mark.

Lining up an angled shot from nearly 30 metres out, the slightly built striker hit a bullet-like drive that never got over waist high and rattled off the far post into the net.

Rovers still trail leaders Goonellabah by nine points, but if they can become the first side to beat the Hornets when they meet at Nielson Park tomorrow night, it would reduce the margin to six with four rounds remaining.

Panthers power

ANOTHER emphatic home win has all but assured Pottsville of a top- three finish after a 6-1 drubbing of relegation favourite Bangalow.

Panthers striker Mike Kolovos led the assault with a hat-trick. The other goals came from player-coach David Lonie, striker Josh Boag and midfielder Matt DeGroot.

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