Bangalow reaches top of Premier League ladder for first time

FOR the first time in the club's history Bangalow sits on top of the FFNC premier league ladder following a 4-1 home win over Lennox Head on Tuesday night.

Since being promoted at the start of the season the Bluedogs have surprised even themselves by winning eight of their 10 games to claw their way to the top.

Lennox began well, claiming an early lead when Paul Kirkland curled in a corner but the Bluedogs responded with a headed goal from Victor Pires.

The Sharks then conceded an own goal to hand Bangalow a 2-1 half-time lead.

The Sharks had a chance to get back into the game when Bluedogs striker Batok Ring was red carded midway through the second half but the setback only served to inspire the home side with a brilliant 25m strike from Joel Rudgley extending their lead.

A fourth goal from sub Michael Smith wrapped up the win, leaving coach Mark Shephard delighted.

"It's a very rewarding feeling to get to the top after years of effort from all involved. It's great for the players and the club and shows we're on the right track," he said.

While Bangalow are virtually assured of an inaugural semi-final appearance, going all the way to their first minor premiership is now the priority.

"We've got a great playing group and we're over the first hurdle of getting to the top, now we've got to stay there," Shephard said.

"But we're coming into a tough part of the draw now and will have a few players away in the coming weeks so our depth will be needed to go on with the job."

Bangalow's first challenge will be a top-of-the-table tussle with the undefeated Lismore Thistles on Saturday.

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