Urunga Raiders and Boambee Bombers are through to the lucrative finals series of the Northern NSW State Cup after victories in Round 3 over the weekend. They will be two of the four teams to represent the northern pool & will take their place against the southern pool qualifiers in June at Coffs Harbour.
Boambee Bombers 5 def Macleay Valley Rangers 0
Boambee travelled to Kempsey to take on the highly rated Macleay Valley. It was a wet day, but the conditions didn't prevent the Bombers from moving the ball around on an unfamiliar pitch; Brady Parker taking more of a distributer role for this match.
"We looked a little bit disorganised in the first half and there was a bit of a muck up with the referees at the start of the game which meant the match kicked off nearly half an hour late, but we created plenty of chances and the boys worked really hard.
"It was a pleasing result, especially considering we scored five goals and Brady Parker did not get any of them," Shane said.
Lachlan Moye bagged a hat trick with Judd Ducan and Gordon Adams adding the extras. It was a confidence boosting win which will put the Bombers into the money rounds in June.
"For us it will be a great experience to play at the stadium and to come up against one of the Newcastle teams will be a good test for our young guys," Shane said.
Plus, it keeps alive the incredible dream that Boambee (and Urunga) could play in the FFA Cup (ie the two finalists will be granted automatic entry). North Coast Football teams could conceivably play against an A-League club.
"Yeah I don't think that's a great possibility, but football is a funny game," Shane added.
Lismore Workers 1 - Coffs City United 1 (Lismore won 4-2 on penalties)
Unbeaten in the local competition (and yet to concede a goal), Coffs City United had every reason to go into this match with confidence. Furthermore, striker Martin Kellaher has rejoined the Lions this year after three seasons with Lismore Workers, so there was a bit of local knowledge as well.
Unfortunately, it was one of those days, according to coach Mike Smith.
"We had a couple of boys out injured: Ben Mackay and Brent Turner phoned up sick on the day, which wasn't good. Then we gave away a bad goal from a freek kick early on and then missed a lot of chances basically.
"From there we chanced the game and as you know, with 35 minutes halves, it's hard when you go a goal behind. I think they would have had two or three chances all game," Mike said.
And in a cruel irony, it was Kellaher who missed the decisive penalty, which put Lismore through to the finals weekend in June.
"Hopefully we will get back to winning ways this weekend," Mike added.
Urunga Raiders 5 def Inverell Joeys 1
Defending champs, Urunga Raiders, made the trip to Armidale to face Inverell Joeys in the third round of the State Cup. It was a tougher game than the scoreline indicates according to Urunga coach Paul Pomroy.
"The result does not reflect how hard it was. They played a 4-4-2 and had a couple of quick guys up front. It was just difficult to get control of the ball," Pomroy said.
Nevertheless, the Raiders went into the break leading by one and let rip in the second half."
I think we got all four second half goals before they scored, so that was pleasing," Pomroy added.
Finals series June 21-22
Urunga will join Boambee, Lismore Workers and Inverell Joeys as the northern pool's four reprasentatives in the final eight at C.ex Stadium on June 21-22nd.
The draw for southern pool round 4 and the finalists of the northern pool can be seen here. The final draw for the finals series will be done after the completion of the southern pool elimination matches.
A total of $10,000 prizemoney is on offer as well as two berths in the inaugural FFA Cup, which in July, with Northern NSW clubs playing their first matches in August.
The State Cup finals series will be held over two days at Coffs Harbour's C.ex International Stadium.