Late goal lifts Star
NORTHERN Star secured the Far North Coast A-grade men’s hockey minor premiership with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Alstonville at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah, on Saturday.
In the other game, East Lismore eased past Ballina 6-3
Although not at full strength, Alstonville went close to Star and conceded the winning goal only in the dying minutes.
Matt Harmon opened Star’s account 12 minutes in and Mitch Harley levelled three minutes later.
Harmon scored his second 10 minutes after that for Star to regain the lead.
Alstonville had four penalty corners late in the half and had one shot off the post.
In the second half Alstonville had the ascendancy and 15 minutes in Jay Wotherspoon scored after a brilliant solo effort to pull the red-soilers level again.
The game was even with both sides having their chances and it was not until almost full-time that Mitch Carter grabbed the winner for Star.
Carter finished off a penalty corner on the third attempt to get it past Alstonville goalkeeper Todd Seymour.
Alstonville’s best were Wotherspoon and Seymour.
Matt Harmon again stood out for Star and Brad Hassett also did well.
In the second game, Ballina did well and won the first half 3-2 but lost the second 4-0 to East Lismore.
Ballina was on top early and seven minutes in Mark Anderson picked up a deflection from out of Ballina’s own defence and ran 40 metres to put the ball past goalkeeper Kelso.
Four minutes later Ballina scored their second when Nathan Fryer finished off a good play and made no mistake.
Easts were awarded their first penalty corner 16 minutes into the match, and gained some composure and started to build their game.
Their second penalty at the 20th minute was converted by Ryan Holding and the gap closed.
A minute later Holding picked up a brilliant pass and slammed the ball past Seymour with a great shot to bring the game level.
Ballina converted their first penalty corner in the closing minutes of the half to make it 3-2.
East Lismore came out with all guns blazing in the second half and kept Ballina under pressure but some good opportunities were lost due to poor ball control.
Josh Garrett in defence for Ballina was again outstanding.
A converted penalty corner by Daniel Hughes levelled it up again then Holding beat defenders at ease and crossed the ball for Dan Riley to finish and give Easts the lead.
Daniel Hughes put Easts two up when he glanced a pass from Riley and Mitch Dawson made no mistake from right in front to make it a 6-3 finish.
Best for East Lismore were Holding, Riley, Matt and Jason Rodda and Daniel Hughes.
For Ballina Garrett, Porter, Davis and Fryer never gave up.
Reserve grade: Coraki 10 d North Lismore 1, Northern Star 2 drew with East Lismore 2, Alstonville 3 d Ballina 2.
B-grade: Northern Star 11 d North Lismore 1, Summerlanders 1 d Coraki 0, Ballina 8 d Alstonville 0.
C-grade: Northern Star 2 d East Lismore 1, Alstonville 2 d Ballina 0.
A-grade: Northern Star 26, Coraki 22, Alstonville 12, East Lismore 11, Ballina 1.
Reserve grade: Coraki 46, Northern Star 45, East Lismore 31, North Lismore 16, Alstonville 10, Ballina 7.
B-grade: Northern Star 35, East Lismore 34, Coraki 31, North Lismore 22, Ballina 20, Summerlanders 8, Ballina 3.
C-grade: Alstonville 36, Ballina 31, East Lismore 11, Northern Star 10.