Italo Stars player Jeremy Pollard heads the ball against Lennox Head.
Italo Stars player Jeremy Pollard heads the ball against Lennox Head. Marc Stapelberg

Workers score massive victory

LISMORE Workers have shown that early season speculation they will be the side to beat in Football FNC's premier league this year, is more than just hype.

The Redmen opened their premiership campaign on Saturday by racking up the biggest scoreline the league has seen in more than 20 years with an 11-1 rout of Casino Cobras at Richards Oval.

The stunning result will send shockwaves through the league and even at this early stage makes a clear statement that the Redmen are genuine contenders.

Casino began well with Dean Casey setting up an early goal for Chris Clark, but it only served to sting Workers into action and from there on it was all one-way traffic.

Flanker Martin Kelleher used his blistering pace and composure in front of goal to lead the onslaught with four goals.

Brazilian striker Vinicius Leite and midfield dynamo Kurt Walker chimed in with two apiece, while Wayne Mortimer, Steve Morrissey and Jonty Miller also shared in the spoils.

"Obviously it's a credit to the boys and a great way to start the season, but I understand Casino were missing several players and we won't be getting carried away by one good win," said Workers coach Scott Collis.

"We know we've got a talented group of players, but our focus is to mould them into a cohesive unit."

Goonellabah has started its season with back-to-back wins, after holding off a strong-finishing Lismore Thistles to claim a 3-2 home win on Friday night.

The Hornets looked sharp against a sluggish Thistles in the first half and raced to a 3-0 lead by the break, with goals from Andrew Lewis, Toby Barton and Shawn Dronfield.

But the Blues lifted in the second stanza and hit back with Matt Weir and Nathan McCann scoring, but they couldn't find an elusive equaliser as Hornets keeper Brad Robertson pulled off several vital saves.

A hat-trick from dual Golden Boot winner Paul Kirkland helped inspire promoted Lennox Head to a 4-2 away win over a plucky but outgunned Italo Stars yesterday.

The veteran finisher punished Stars for not marking up in defence, conducting a master class on drifting into space and clinically taking chances.

Brett Watson joined him on the Sharks scoresheet with a late goal, while Stars goals came from Nick Organ and Jeremy Pollard, but the Stars look set for a long hard season.

* Two matches were washed out, with Rovers clash with Byron Bay and Villa's local derby with Ballina to be rescheduled.

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