Cup's big blue battle
SOCCER focus this weekend will turn to the Tursa Anzac Cup finals at Crozier Field in Lismore, with Bangalow looking to lift the top trophy for the first time when they play Thistles.
The men's premier division clash is due to kick off at 4.30pm today, with both sides coming off exciting wins in the semi-finals on Tuesday night.
Bangalow eliminated the defending champions Byron Bay 4-3 while a young Thistles line-up defeated their East Lismore neighbours Richmond Rovers, also 4-3.
The sides, which both wear a blue strip, should draw confidence from their ability to get past tough opposition mid-week to reach the final.
Bangalow were thumped 4-0 by Thistles when the teams met last weekend in the second round of the pointscore season.
The Bluedogs will look to put that performance behind them to counter the expected youthful exuberance of a Thistles team that is fast, talented and clearly embracing the opportunity to play at a higher level.
Bangalow will look to experienced campaigners Joel Rudgley and three-goal hero from Tuesday night Sam Ireland to get the 2016 grand final winners home and claim their first Anzac Cup trophy in the top grade.
Thistles should be further strengthened by the return of reliable and experienced central defender Max Hospers and player/coach Chris Hunt.
Action at Crozier Field today will start at 10.15am when Alstonville plays Mullumbimby-Brunswick Valley in the Grade 16 final.
Games to follow will be the Open B men's final where friendly rivals Mullum-Bruns- wick meet Shores United, followed by Ballina against Thistles in the Open A men.
The Callan McMillan Memorial Shield women's finals will be played tomorrow with Casino meeting Bangalow in B Division at 12.30pm and Thistles up against Mullum-Bruns- wick in A Division at 2.45pm.
Alcohol, glass and smoking are not permitted inside the venue.
Football Far North Coast pointscore competitions will be in recess for the weekend as the six Anzac Cup and Callan McMillan Shield finals are played.