Northern Star's Matt Harmon flys up the wing against Waratahs at Hepburn Park on Saturday.
Northern Star's Matt Harmon flys up the wing against Waratahs at Hepburn Park on Saturday. Brenden Allen

Coraki go all the way

CORAKI overcame a big injury toll to seize the 2008 JH Williams Premier League men's hockey title with a 4-2 win over Waratahs in the final at Murwillumbah yesterday, completing their first unbeaten run for many years.

Jason Conte was sidelined, while Adrian McGrath, Trent Brown, Matt Moss and Scott Gallagher carried injuries into the game.

Adding to the problems, Warren Birmingham jinked his ankle in the final.

In an exciting match, Coraki closed down the Bobcats' normal operating space.

Waratahs were at their most dangerous when James Walker and Jamie Hetherington found space, allowing captain Tim Willis and Dwayne Newell to force the issue. Goals to Willis (12m pc) and Michael Newell (45m fg) resulted.

Coraki showed extraordinary heart with McGrath (7m fg) and David Brown (15m fg, 27m pc) a little more creative when it counted.

In the second half, with Coraki up only 3-2, Ben Moss (62m pc) came up with a reverse stick strike to net the best goal of the final.

With Waratahs pressing hard in the second half, Coraki's Chris Chad Morgan, Michael Grande and stand-in goalkeeper Jordan Ryan did exceptionally well to deny a fast-finishing Bobcats team.

In the semi-finals on Saturday, Waratahs overcame Northern Star 5-1 at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah, after encountering some stiff opposition early.

Star's lack of midfield depth and intensity in the second half proved to be their undoing.

Waratahs captain Tim Willis and Issac Reading dominated.

Steve Knapman was outstanding in defence for Star and stand-in goalkeeper Tim McDonald helped keep the score respectable under intense pressure.

Captain Thomas Vantaggiato (21m fg) scored the Lismore team's only goal.

On the Gold Coast, at Hunt Park, Labrador, Coraki were pushed to the edge before finally coming up with a tight 5-4 win over a defiant Mullumbimby Taipans.


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