Rangers fall out of finals race as confusion reigns
TUMBULGUM Soccer club is out of the Football Far North Coast first division finals race although confusion reigns in the Rangers camp as to how it happened.
With their sudden death semi-final with Alstonville washed out at the weekend Tumbulgum had been expected to replay the game.
Football Far North Coast general manager Matt Kelso said the club was informed on Monday morning that the game would be played in Alstonville on Tuesday night.
However he said he was informed that Rangers would not be able to get a team together in time for the match and would rather play later in the week.
Kelso said they were not able to accommodate the request for a Thursday night match because that would mean Alstonville possibly had to play Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday three crucial games in six days.
"The club informed us of there intention to forfeit the match on Tuesday morning," he said.
But Kelso said even after that, Tumbulgum coach Peter Rylko rang and offered to play the game either Tuesday with a reduced number of men or Wednesday.
"We had actually expected the game to be played next weekend," Rylko said.
He said he was informed on Monday afternoon of the Tuesday game too short of a time gap to organise the team.
"We have guys that have to come down from Brisbane to play," he said.
The forfeit ends Tumbulgum's finals campaign after they had finished fourth at the end of the regular season.
Ironically it is the second time Alstonville has benefited from a forfeit by a Tweed club with the side going straight through to the Premier League play-off final after their opponents Tweed Heads decided to concentrate on their finals campaign rather than trying to get the spare premier league spot.
Alstonville will now play Lismore Workers next Tuesday, after Workers beat South Lismore 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The winner of that game will go to premier league next year taking the place of Maclean who has now moved to the Coffs Harbour league as part of the Football Federation of Australia's restructure.
Alstonville also take on Lismore Thistles this weekend in the first division preliminary final while Tweed meet minor premiers Pottsville in the other game.