Thistles hope it’ll be third time lucky
LISMORE Thistles have their sights set on their first Tursa Employment and Training Anzac Cup success in 16 years.
The Thistles sealed a berth in the final of this season's competition with a 1-0 win over reigning cup holders Lismore Workers in Tuesday night's semi-final at Thistles Park.
The Blues out-enthused the Redmen, playing with pace and intensity in the Thistles Park clash.
Some excellent defending high up the paddock by Thistles applied pressure on Workers and denied them the chance to find rhythm.
The winning goal came early in the second half when livewire striker Jake Nind surged down the flank and delivered a telling cross for Toby Barton to finish.
Nind and Barton were among Thistles' best, along with flanker Matt Armstrong and Max Hospers in defence, where they kept a clean sheet for the second time in a fortnight against the Redmen.
Blues coach Paul Parmenter said a strong backline display had paved the way for his side's success.
"Our defence was good again and that helps the confidence of the whole side," Parmenter said.
"I was also impressed by the boys' enthusiasm and energy levels after backing up from a tough game against Villa on Sunday.
"All-in-all, it was a great effort."
It's the third time in five years Thistles have made the final of the tournament.
After losses to Goonellabah in 2011 and Rovers in 2009, the Blues will be hungry for their first piece of silverware in 16 years.
Workers coach Daniel Kelly acknowledged Thistles performance, saying the deserved the win.
But he felt the Redmen missed key men Wayne Mortimer, Jay Keevers and Max Harlan.
In a further blow to their premiership hopes, Mortimer is expected to miss most of the season with a knee problem and Keevers has moved to the Gold Coast.
Thistles will have to wait until next week to see if they meet Byron Bay or Casino in the final.
That semi-final was washed out and postponed to next Tuesday.