East Lismore too hot for Waratahs
EAST Lismore defied the sodden conditions to upstage competition heavyweights Waratahs 3-1 in their JH Williams Premier League men's hockey clash at the Ballina turf.
The wet conditions on Saturday were tricky but Easts enjoyed an almost perfect start, skipping out to a 2-0 lead after just 25 minutes.
Ryan Holding opened the scoring for the home side when he converted a well-worked penalty corner in the 10th minute.
Matt Rodda then put Easts further ahead when he finished off after some great lead-up work by Holding and Chris Clark.
Guilty off some uncharacteristic errors in the opening exchanges, Waratahs closed the gap when Tim Willis converted a penalty corner in the 27th minute.
However, Easts quickly re-established their advantage when Chris Clark converted after a Brad Hughes solo run to make it 3-1 ahead of the break.
Waratahs started the better early in the second half but Easts responded, with Hughes proving a danger in attack.
With time running out Waratahs began showed signs of frustration.
Their ill-discipline resulted in two send-offs in as many minutes and from there they never recovered.
Waratahs received two penalty corners in the closing stages of the match but were unable to convert.
Hughes, Hetherington and Holding were among the best for Easts, while Willis, James Walker and Peter Irby impressed for Waratahs.
In the other match played at the weekend, Star trounced Ballina 5-1 in pouring rain.
Star claimed the early advantage when Matt Harmon scored in the fifth minute after latching on to a pass from his brother James.
Conditions then deteriorated as the rain continued to fall.
Ballina had chances to equalise but was unable to make the most of its opportunities and went to the half-time break trailing 1-0.
Its task got harder just eight minutes after the restart when Adam Grill scored after a penalty corner to put Star up 2-0.
Ballina held firm for much of the second term but with 10 minutes to go Thomas Vantaggiato scored against the run of play to give Star a 3-0 advantage.
Ballina's Aaron Klassen closed the gap to 3-1 when he scored after a strong individual effort but thoughts of a fightback were short-lived.
Mitch Carter scored with five minutes to go to put Stars ahead 4-1, before Matt Harmon scored his second of the day off a penalty corner in the final minute to seal the result.
Nathan Fryer, Josh Garrett and Mark Anderson were among the standouts for Ballina, while Scott Dunn, James Harmon and keeper Adam Ryan impressed for Star.
The Coraki versus Kingscliff match scheduled to be played at Murwillumbah was deferred after being washed out.