Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Late Goal to Westlawn Seals Surprise Victory; from Bottom as Bobcats Slip from NCF Top-Four Spot

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Late Goal to Westlawn Seals Surprise Victory; from Bottom as Bobcats Slip from NCF Top-Four Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew McInerney sport@dailyexaminer.com.au

THEY SAY that previous performances and ladder positions count for nothing in derby games.

That certainly applied to the second Clarence Valley derby of the North Coast Football season when Westlawn Tigers hosted downriver rivals Maclean Bobcats on Saturday.

The Bobcats played on the back of a season-reviving run of success, winning four of their previous five games to fight their way into fourth position.

Westlawn was sitting last on the NCF ladder but was coming off a 2-1 win over Sawtell Scorpions that showed the Tigers weren't pushovers.

That win and an earlier draw against former ladder-leader Northern Storm shows they have the right stuff.

A previous Tigers/Bobcats clash at Barry Watts Oval ended 1-all and Saturday's game looked like it might do the same with the score tied at 2-all as the match went beyond 90 minutes.

But a foul in the final moments resulted in a penalty to Westlawn which Dan Usher slotted, his second of the match, to steal victory for the underdogs.

Tigers' coach Robert Usher said his team had worked hard to hold back an intense Bobcats' outfit.

"It was a close game that could've gone either way," he said. "Maclean dominated the last 20 minutes of the game. They probably held the ball for 10-15 (minutes) of that. We changed a few things at the end to give ourselves every chance of winning. We got an opportunity at full time and took it.

"It did get a bit scrappy out there because of the conditions but both teams had to deal with it."

Maclean came out of the blocks at a hundred miles an hour and opened the scoring in the first five minutes with a long-range Lance Knibbs goal.

Westlawn youngster Sam Powell hit back 10 minutes later but the Bobcats dictated terms until the 20-minute mark. …

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