Goonellabah’s Kale Hopper will be a key player when the Hornets try and win a much sought after Men’s Premier Division title this Saturday.
Goonellabah’s Kale Hopper will be a key player when the Hornets try and win a much sought after Men’s Premier Division title this Saturday.

Rovers wary of Hornets sting

The tension and expectation are building as we are now only two days away from deciding the Southern Cross Credit Union Men's Premier Division champions for 2011. Goonellabah and Lismore Richmond Rovers will meet at Oakes Oval this Saturday evening, September 17, with play scheduled to commence at 6.45pm.

Goonellabah have had a solid season with success in the Tursa Anzac Cup, despite not being quite the same unit as 2010 when they also won the pointscore competition and fell to only one defeat in the domestic season. Chasing their first major title since 1995, the Hornets have been runners-up to Rovers in the last two years and enter the final match of the season determined to hold the trophy aloft.

Dave Annetts is a dangerous player up front and his class may very well shine when it matters most. Coach Mark Ambler has plotted and planned this moment for several years and the experience of Dane Seymour and captain Matt Dorigo will no doubt be incorporated into the coach's game plan. Brad Robertson in goals will have plenty of work repelling raids by the speedy and creative Rovers' strikers, as will Andrew 'Swampy' Marshall at the other end for Rovers. We can expect some outstanding athleticism from both custodians.

In the other corner await Lismore Richmond Rovers, who are poised to hold aloft the Cyril Mayo Memorial Challenge Cup for a fifth consecutive year, putting them up there with the best sides in local football competition - along with Lismore Thistles (1970-74) and Italo Stars (1977-1981). Coach Gary Smith has stepped into the role beautifully and had Rovers rolling along consistently all season. The return early in the year of Joel Saye was a huge boost for Rovers and along with the ever reliable Mitchell Flower at the back, Goonellabah are unlikely to get an easy passage to goal.

This game was a fierce and uncompromising encounter last year and the large group of passionate supporters from both clubs will ensure that their respective teams are spurred on in every tackle and contest. With leading referee Luke Mackney appointed to this match and senior match official Adam Coupe fourth official, players will be on notice to play hard but play within the laws of the game, regardless of the occasion. At the conclusion of the grand final, the inaugural Terry Greedy Medal will be awarded to the player judged as best on ground and we are delighted that former Lismore player and former Socceroo goal-keeper Terry Greedy will be at the match to make that presentation.

Rovers will go into the game as favourites before an expected bumper crowd at Oakes Oval. The Women's Premier grand final tomorrow night (Friday September 16) from 8pm is between Alstonville and Bangalow where the Lisa Casagrande Medal will be awarded to the player of the match.

Entry to Oakes Oval is $6 for adults, and patrons are advised that this is an alcohol free venue. Good luck to all players!



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