Northern Star beats Ballina to seal grand final shot at Glee

NORTHERN Star have marched through to the FNC Women's A-grade grand final with a dominant 3-0 win over Ballina at Lismore on Saturday.

Northern Star were far too strong for the seasiders, pushing them aside to set up a grand final showdown with defending premiers Glee.

Saturday's clash was a tight affair early with both sides creating scoring opportunities.

Ballina had the chance to grab the early advantage when Cori Hardy made a break down the right but the inside players were unable to capitalise on her pass back into the centre.

Star snatched the lead in the 22nd minute, Freya Russell touching the ball inside the right post after Natalie Psarakis laid off a penalty corner.

Star extended their advantage in the 33rd minute after striker Sam Peiti broke through.

Peiti's initial shot deflected off a defender but still managed to find the back of the net to hand Star a 2-0 lead at the break.

Ballina found their rhythm in the midfield in the second term with Hollie, Michelle Anderson and Kelly Hamilton combining well.

They were however unable to capitalise in the circle due to some excellent covering defence led by Leanne Albertini.

Star put the result beyond doubt with 10 minutes remaining when Kate Marshall finished off after some good lead-up work by Abby Vantaggiato.

In the Grass Competition grand final, minor premiers Evans Head edged out Easts in extra time.

With scores level at the end of regulation time, the match advanced to extra time and was at nine-a-side in the drop-off before Dorothy Ticknor scored a "golden goal" to break the deadlock.

In junior hockey grand finals, Coraki reigned supreme, winning the major premierships in all three age divisions.

Under 11: In a closely contested match, Northern Star led by Kaleb Makings created more scoring opportunities but were denied by several fine saves by Coraki 'keeper Donavan Moss.

With no score at the end of regulation time and again after extra time drop-off with nine on nine, both sides were reduced to seven before Coraki player of the match Maddox Hannigan scored the winner.

Under 13: Goals from Coraki's Tara Blun and Taquira McGrath (Player of the Final) in the first half steered Coraki to victory over Ballina.

Under 15: Ballina took the lead when Billie King-Venn scored but Shania McLean found the equaliser for Coraki.

Coraki then went ahead 2-1 when Tom Brown broke clear in the midfield, drew the Ballina 'keeper and delivered a neat pass to an unmarked Mollie O'Brien to score.

Brown then converted a penalty corner midway through the second half to give Coraki a 3-1 advantage. Ballina's Tyler Arundel capped a fine game with a penalty corner in the final minute.

Ballina's Cameron Palmer was named Player of the Final.



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