Thistles? Anthony Nind, left, and Bangalow?s Satish Sthapit battle for possession in FNC Premier League soccer on Saturday. Thi
Thistles? Anthony Nind, left, and Bangalow?s Satish Sthapit battle for possession in FNC Premier League soccer on Saturday. Thi

Seasiders stun



BALLINA has stunned major premiers Lismore Workers with a 3-0 win at Richards Oval, while Goon-ellabah has racked up one of the biggest scorelines in years with a 9-1 flogging of Casino at Weston Park, propelling the two form sides into the joint lead of FNs Tursa Premier League soccer.

The pair is still awaiting a date for their Anzac Cup final replay, but in the meantime both are rattling up premiership points and remain the only undefeated sides.

The seasiders made the most of their chances with some clinical finishing against Workers, racing to a 3-0 lead by half-time.

An early penalty gave Justin Stockham the chance to open the scoring, before Christian Watson used his strength to shrug off a Jeremy Wraight tackle and volley a superb goal over the head of 'keeper Rhys Evans.

Stockham set up the third goal with a clever back heel for Tyson Price to finish, giving Ballina their best win over the Redmen in years.

While Workers' crisp, short passing game was slick, they failed to penetrate around the Ballina box.

n Goonellabah displayed just what its awesome attacking potential is capable of, in their 9-1 thrashing of Casino.

The Hornets strikers are re-writing the record books, with the trio of Peter O'Neil, Ben Andrews and Matthew Olley already amassing an incredible 17 goals in just four rounds.

O'Neil had a field day against the Cobras, smashing in five goals to become the premiers' top scorer on nine.

Andrews chimed in with two, while Olley and John Eakin also joined in the scoring frenzy.

Casino held Goonellabah to a respectable 1-2 half-time scoreline, but the Hornets' skills, pace and fitness enabled them to overrun the Cobras.

Stewart Coughran was the Cobras' best, scoring their solitary goal.

n It takes passion to win the minor premiership.

Richmond Rovers displayed it to win the title last year, but it was the missing ingredient in their 1-0 home loss to Italo Stars on Saturday.

Rovers' first loss of the premiership season looked likely when Stars' mercurial striker Wayne Mortimer slammed in an angled near-post shot, mid-way through the second half.

In years gone by that would have inspired Rovers to lift their game, but on Saturday they couldn't find that extra level.

Stars' young goalkeeper Brad Soul continues to mature and made several vital saves, while Mortimer was a constant threat up front and his return has added the required sting to their attack.

Rovers midfielders Arron Smee and Brett Lane toiled hard, but there were no stand-out performers, leaving coach Hamshaw with some issues to confront going into next week's tough away clash with joint leader Ballina.

n Darren Beardow has again proved his importance to Lismore Thistles, scoring all three goals in their morale-boosting 3-1 home win over Bangalow on Saturday.

Bangalow ran with a strong wind at their backs in the first half and took a 1-0 lead to the break thanks to a goal from Brent Hosking, but the three-time winner of The Northern Star Player of the Year award was at his vintage best in the second half and turned the game.

Beardow latched on to a through ball from new midfielder James Hay to score the equaliser, before scoring two more at the far post from Chris Harley crosses.

The vital win gave the Blues their first points of the season, but dealt a devastating blow to the Bluedogs, who are now isolated on the bottom of the ladder.

One match was washed out on Saturday ? Byron Bay v Maclean at Byron Bay.



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