JH Williams league kicks off
THIS weekend is the beginning of the JH Williams Premier League in men’s hockey, where Far North Coast teams tackle Border and Gold Coast opposition in a competition running over nine weeks.
The final will be played on July 10.
Far North Coast chances rest with its five A-grade teams and hopes are high that they can improve on last year.
In the 2009 final Coraki lost to Waratahs by the odd goal. The two teams will meet again today at Murwillumbah in the match of the round.
Waratahs are a good side. They have produced some excellent players over the years and have always been competitive.
Australian player Mathew Butturini was a Waratahs junior.
His younger brother Nicholas will play a key role for Waratahs today along with Tim Willis and Dwayne Newell in attack; James Walker controlling the midfield; and Mitchell Paron in goals.
Waratahs hold the record for consecutive A-grade premierships in the Border association – more than 20 years.
As the defending JH Williams Premier League champions and playing at home, they may have the edge on Coraki.
Coraki will hope to produce similar form to last round where they accounted for Ballina with a great team effort.
They will again look to Ben Moss to make it happen up front.
Moss scored two goals last round but was instrumental in three others and Waratahs will need to keep him in check.
Moss will be supported by McGrath, Gallagher and David Brown, and the host of youth in the side.
Trent Brown returns and with Mitchell Dunstan and Chad Morgan will steady the Coraki midfield.
In other games, Ballina take on Alstonville at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah; Northern Star play United at Murwillumbah; and Kingscliff face Burleigh on the Gold Coast.
On form, Alstonville will be slight favourites against Ballina. They beat East Lismore last Saturday with a good performance and will look to repeat that.
But Ballina can put it together at times and if they can field their full team it will not be one-way traffic.
Northern Star had a bye last round. They are being well drilled in fitness and with the rest as an advantage they should come away with a win over United.