Ireland saves Bluedogs in soccer clash
TWO late goals to Sam Ireland allowed Bangalow to steal all three competition points against Italo Stars in Far North Coast Premier League soccer.
It was 2-all with just five minutes left before Ireland struck twice to complete a hat-trick and seal the 4-2 win for the visitors at Barrow Lane, North Lismore, on Saturday.
Luke Wakefield scored the Bluedogs' other goal while youngsters Aaron Kelly and Brody Roberson scored Stars' goals.
Bangalow coach Neil Fuller felt his charges made things difficult for themselves with their inability to take chances early in the game.
"It was frustrating,” he said.
"We were good but when we got in the final third we just weren't able to finish.
"We should've put it away in the first 15 minutes we had so many chances.
"Some parts of the game I was quite pleased with, but there's definitely room for improvement.
"I think we still have a bit to do with our fitness. Having missed all these games a couple of the boys' match fitness isn't there quite yet.”
Stars went into the game missing eight senior players, forcing several others to line up in both premiers and reserves.
Coach Ken McPherson said the lack of legs got the better of his side in the end.
"It makes it difficult,” he said.
"We had a few out, a couple of the boys doubled up and played reserve grade so obviously they ran out of legs in the last little bit.
"They put in 100% the young guys and I couldn't ask for too much more.
"Since the flood we've struggled to get our fitness back. It'll take a bit of turning around now before we start coming good again.”
Byron Bay continued their dominant start to the season with an astonishing 15-0 home win over Casino.
Joel Wood led the way with four goals for the Rams, Ronan Krarup scored a hat-trick, Gianluca Bongiovanni and Herick Schuenemann each grabbed doubles, while Quinn McDonald and Ben Ahern also got in on the act with a goal apiece.
Thistles trounced Workers 13-1 at Thistles Park, with Luke Virtue, Cody Mckinnon and Jye Wilson all notching hat-tricks for the hosts.
Goonellabah downed Alstonville 7-0 at Crawford Park, Alstonville, on Friday night.