Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Down to Wirefor Semi Spots

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Down to Wirefor Semi Spots

Article excerpt

Byline: MARGIE PEMBROKE

THE JH Williams Premier League hockey season goes down to the wire this weekend with all Far North Coast men's sides in the running for the semi-finals.

Coraki will battle it out with Mudgeeraba at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah (2.55pm), and Ballina will take on Northern Star (4.20pm). Alstonville will travel to Murwillumbah to play Redbacks (3.50pm).

One goal separates Coraki and Mudgeeraba and the winner could make the semis.

Both sides like to play fast-breaking hockey and while Coraki have Ben Moss up front for strike power, Mudgeeraba are capable of hitting back through the equally skilled Beleme Dede and Aaron Griggs.

The key to this game is in defence and Coraki will rely on the experience of Warren Birmingham, Simon Brown and Pete Ryan to shut down Mudgeeraba.

Northern Star take on Ballina and Star must win to have any chance of making the play-offs.

Chris and Ryan McGuiness have been in fine form for Star and with Thomas Vantaggiato, Mitchell Carter and Adam Grill regularly finding the back of the net, Ballina's defence will be tested.

Ballina have plenty of skill up front with David Flanagan, Mitch Harley and Sam Davis and will be out to spoil Northern Star's chances.

At Murwillumbah, Alstonville have the opportunity to seal a place in the semis if they can secure a win over the young Redbacks side.

Redbacks' Queensland Under-18 representatives Jake Farrell and Dylan Wotherspoon are the greatest dangers to Alstonville - both have a deadly strike off penalty corners.

Dylan Wotherspoon will face off against cousin Jay, who has been one of Alstonville's most consistent performers throughout the competition and has had great support from team-mates Dwayne White, Daniel Lidbetter and Derby Bergan.

The only side guaranteed a semi-finals spot is Waratahs.

Easts have a bye and must rely on other results.

Pointscores:

Pool A: Waratahs 15 (21), Northern Star 8 (6), Labrador 8 (6), Ballina 7 (-3), United Casuarina 5 (-2), Kingscliff 4 (-19), Burleigh 2 (-10). …

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