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Hornets are a class above Rovers

When the two worlds collide: Byron Bay’s Jordy Campbell (right) almost collides with a Bangalow player in their match at Bangalow on Saturday.
When the two worlds collide: Byron Bay’s Jordy Campbell (right) almost collides with a Bangalow player in their match at Bangalow on Saturday. Jay Cronan

A CONSUMMATE performance from Goonellabah has given premiers Richmond Rovers a serious reality check, with the Hornets completely outclassing the reigning champions for a 3-0 home win on Friday night in Football FNC’s premier league soccer.

A well-drilled Goonellabah dominated the rematch of last year’s grand finalists, giving the premiers a footballing lesson to inflict one of their worst defeats in years.

Rovers had no answer to the Hornets’ intensity, quick ball movement and ability to hold their shape, which allowed them to dominate possession and chances on goal.

On the rare occasions when Rovers did get the ball, they struggled to string passes together and often resorted to the long ball under pressure.

It took only 10 minutes for Goonellabah to open the scoring, with a curling cross from wide defender Daniel Rose giving Mario Tinning the chance to pull off a spectacular diving header at the far post.

His celebrations were just as spectacular, with Tinning launching into an aerial tumble that would have done a gymnast proud.

The Hornets’ fast-breaking attack and incisive balls behind Rovers defence had the premiers in disarray at times and Goonellabah doubled their lead just before half-time when Dave Arnetts nodded on a cross for an alert Thiago Priori to finish at the far post.

While Rovers tried to fight their way back into the match in the second half, they created only a few chances and the Hornets wrapped up a memorable win with a late goal from captain Matt Dorigo after a defensive lapse from Rovers.

“The whole team played with great intensity, passion and focus and our first half was one of the best halves of football I’ve seen from any side in the area for a long time,” said proud Hornets coach Mark Ambler.

“We wanted to make a big statement of our intention this season in this game and I think we’ve achieved it.”