Coraki stands tall
CORAKI has emerged as a genuine premiership threat in Far North Coast A-grade men’s hockey with a 4-3 win over the previously undefeated Northern Star.
Tempers flared from the outset in a fiery encounter and at times the aggression affected both teams’ standard of hockey.
Within five minutes David Brown capitalised on a defensive error in the circle to put the ball into an open goal for Coraki to take an early lead.
Star soon equalised when Mitch Carter finished off from a Chris McGuiness pass.
There was plenty of push and shove for the rest of the half with players cautioned but no suspensions.
Both sides made some intense raids but were repelled by strong defence.
Both captains received some very clear advice from umpire Paul Leadbeatter to settle down and clean up the tackles.
Coraki started the better in the second half and six minutes in regained the lead when Jacob Dunn made no mistake in a one-on-one with Star goalkeeper Aaron Head.
Star immediately levelled with a brilliant drag flick conversion of a penalty corner by Matt Harmon.
Soon after tempers were on the edge and Coraki had a player suspended.
Star capitalised when Thomas Vantaggiato converted another penalty corner.
McGrath brought Coraki level with 20 minutes to go, then they hit the front when Gallagher put a crisp pass across the top of the circle to Dunstan, who found McGrath at the seven and hemade no mistake.
Star had late chances but the Mid-Richmond boys’ determination kept their opponents out.
The umpires’ points went to Jordan Ryan (Coraki), Brad Hassett (Star) and Trent Brown (Coraki)
Ballina surprised Alstonville 2-1 in the other, more sedate, game.
Sam Davis put the seasiders in front with a penalty corner conversion from a quality drag flick15 minutes in.
It was the only goal of the half.
Ballina were a much better outfit with Chaseling, Porter, Anderson and Davis all playing, but Todd Curran did not show.
Ten minutes into the second half Nathan Fryer made no mistake in converting a penalty corner to give Ballina a 2-0 lead.
Alstonville got on the scoreboard with 10 minutes left when Mitch Harley made no mistake in converting a penalty corner with a conventional hit into the backboard.
Alstonville had a late chance to level but missed an open goal.
The umpires’ points went to Josh Garrett (Ballina), Alex McKendrick (Alstonville) and Lou Morgan (Ballina).
Reserve grade: East Lismore d Alstonville 6-1, North Lismore d Ballina 5-0, Star d Coraki 3-0. Deferred match: Alstonville drew with Ballina 4-all.
B-grade: Star d Alstonville 8-1, Ballina d Coraki 2-0, East Lismore d Summerlanders 4-1.
C-grade: Alstonville d Ballina 4-0, East Lismore d Star 4-0.