Cup semis the target
THE winner of Ballina’s home clash with Byron Bay tomorrow will all but seal a place in the Anzac Cup pre-season soccer semi-finals.
Ballina will start the same side that came from behind to down Alstonville 3-1 last week, with coach Rod Troughton keen to deny the Rams the ball.
“Byron is a strong attacking side, so we’ll need to hold the ball with patient build-up to deny them possession,” he said.
Young strikers Jarrad Smeal and Mitchell James will lead the Seahorses’ charge, while Byron will be missing key striker Jordy Campbell after he was sent off in the Rams’ 2-0 loss to Goonellabah last week.
After winning their first two games, Lismore Thistles are virtually assured of a place in the Cup semis regardless of the result of their home clash with Lismore Workers tomorrow.
With a full-strength side boosted by the return of Adam Buckley, the Blues will start fav-ourites, with new coach Paul Parmenter happy with their start.
“The boys’ discipline and attitude has been good and that’s an area that has let us down in the past,” he said.
Workers are still without Anthony Alvos, who is having knee surgery, and with new striker Mark Riley missing and doubts over Sam Sharkey, the Redmen face a tough prospect to record their first win.
Richmond Rovers will look to shrug off their sluggish start when they travel to Casino to take on the newly promoted Cobras tomorrow.
After a loss and a draw, the major prem-iers have virtually no chance of making the Cup semis, but would still like to find some form before the start of the premiership rounds in two weeks.
Russell Dent returns after a week’s suspension, but Adam Gray remains sidelined witha three-week ban and there are doubts over Jacob Heffernan.
The Cobras will run on an unchanged line-up and coach Scott Creighton is calling on his players to lift, with the chance of sealing a semi berth if they can pull off an upset win.
“We didn’t play well in the loss to Thistles and have to show more intensity and play as a team,” Creighton said.
Games start at 4.30pm.