Ben Moss in action for Coraki in their semi last Saturday.
Ben Moss in action for Coraki in their semi last Saturday. MARC STAPELBERG

Coraki will lift for final test

CORAKI will play East Lismore in the Far North Coast A-grade men’s hockey preliminary final at 5.45pm today, with the winner to play Northern Star in the grand final next Saturday.

Both sides started the season with very different sides from 2009.

East Lismore lost two senior players in Ray Rodda and Matt Currie, while Ryan Holding and Isaac Dawson have been out for much of the season.

The return of Holding and Dawson for the final rounds and the play-offs has boosted the team.

Coraki are in their second year of redevelopment with a mixture of younger players and experience, so did well to finish second on the points ladder.

Easts and Coraki are clubs that have had some common ground and over the years their games have been as competitive as any but there is usually also plentyof mateship.

Easts are showing more patience and authority in defence with Luke Kelso solid in goals and a mobile backline of Jamie Hetherington and Jason Rodda dictating play.

The half line of Michael Broadbent, Matt Rodda and Jacob Currie provide a solid base, giving the forward line plenty of options to create opportunities.

Simon Mackney, Dan Riley, Chris Clark, Ryan Holding and Daniel Hughes have formed a working forward line that can pressure any defensive unit into mistakes.

The injection of Marcus Currie, Isaac Dawson, Brad Hughes and Mitch Dawson from the bench has meant East Lismore have the ability to rotate players without losing any of their attacking or defending prowess.

Senior Coraki player Trent Brown believes his side will need to maintain their speed to the ball and with the ball for the full 70 minutes.

Coraki has a wealth of experience – the senior players have all played finals hockey – and does lift in these games.

Chris Morgan, Trent Brown, David Brown, Ben Moss, Mitch Dunstan, Simon Brown and Adrian McGrath are skilful and experienced players, and the way they combine with younger members makes it a formidable side.

Coraki play a close marking and possession game and their strength on the ball and ability to make solid passes that are generally trapped is the main reason they are hard to beat.

They have options in attack via David Brown, Ben Moss and Mitch Dunstan, along with some unpredictable and well-drilled penalty corner options.

Coraki are favoured but East Lismore relish being underdogs.

In the A-grade women’s preliminary final today, East Lismore play Northern Star for the right to take on Glee in the grand final.

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