Tougher time for FNC teams
THE four Far North Coast teams will be looking to stay undefeated going into the second round of the A-grade men's hockey Premier League with Grafton.
Two games will be played at Grafton this weekend, one at Ballina and one at Goonellabah.
In the first round Ballina, Coraki and East Lismore all won while Northern Star played a draw.
Unlike last season, the Grafton sides were very competitive.
At Ballina today from 4.20pm, the home side hosts Barbarians; at Grafton from 4.15pm Bears play Coraki; then tomorrow at Goonellabah from 2.15pm Star host Sailors and at Grafton from 2.30pm Royals play East Lismore.
Ballina did well to get their first points against Sailors last Saturday but will be hard pressed to beat Barbarians, who held Star to a 3-all draw.
The seasiders will need all the home ground advantage they can garner against Grafton's best side and Josh Garrett will need to continue his recent strong form to give them any chance.
Although under-strength, Bears looked good in losing to Easts and at home will make it hard but Coraki should get the points.
Coraki last Saturday were not as sharp as they have been but a small improvement across the park is all it will take to keep them undefeated.
Star at home will be too strong for Sailors and East Lismore will have their work cut out playing Royals away.
Star's defence with Ryan McGuiness in stellar form will be the basis of their game, and the midfield and strikers will find plenty of space against Sailors, who do not travel well.
Easts looked good in the first half last week but lost their way after the break.
Nick Layton was outstanding in defence and brother Isaac scored their four goals.
Neither they nor Cooper Stahl are available this round, which significantly depletes the team.
Women take the field
THE A-grade women's competition will continue this weekend after Far North Coast teams had mixed results against their Tweed-Border opposition in the opening round.
Glee defeated the Mullumbimby Suns 4-2, Kingscliff Sirens edged out Northern Star 1-0, Ballina drew with Vipers 2-all at Murwillumbah and East Lismore were outclassed by Casuarina 5-0.