TOUGH Tweed Heads striker Damien Sharpe
TOUGH Tweed Heads striker Damien Sharpe

Rangers outgun Roos

By TANIA PHILLIPS

TUMBULGUM fought off a determined challenge from Tweed Heads Kangaroos to win the last ever Tweed District Soccer grand final at Tumbulgum on Saturday. Rangers, a Tweed District Soccer foundation club, etched their names into the history books by defeating the Kangaroos 3-0 at Brian Breckenridge Park. The victory means Tumbulgum and Tweed evenly shared the spoils this year with Rangers taking the major and minor titles and the Kangaroos winning both the Anzac Cup (pre-season competition) and Norm Silley (mid-season) competition. Tweed District Soccer is being amalgamated with the Lismore-based Far North Coast competition to form a new Northern Rivers Zone as part of an Australia-wide restructure of soccer. Despite running into a strong wind, Rangers were able to set up the victory with a two-goal first half. "It was very hard playing in the wind - it made it very, very difficult," Tumbulgum coach Terry Kennedy said. "But we played well in the first half and kept possession. Things looked good when we were 2-0 up but Tweed dug deep and came back - they put us under pressure. If Tweed had have got a goal back then it could have been very different." Tumbulgum forwards Chris Kolovos and Chris Healy saved their best games of the season until last, working well in tandem to lay the foundation for the victory while Glen McMahon played well in defence. Thrilled Tumbulgum club president John McMahon said the victory capped off an amazing five years for the majority of the players. "Most of those young guys have now won the major and minor premierships every year for the past five years," he said. "They won their first premiership as under 14s and now they have come through to the seniors. Whether they have been playing in Lismore on the Gold Coast or Tweed, they have won." Tweed coach Mark Thelwall said experience had proven the difference but he remained proud of his young team which included nine 16-year-olds. "Tumbulgum were a bit more experienced and it showed," he said. "I'm proud of them. From our results this year we are further along in our development then I expected." Tumbulgum opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Isaac Sommerfield slotted the ball into the back of the net. Minutes later Chris Kolovos outsmarted the Tweed Heads 'keeper before drilling the ball into the open goal. Up 2-0 at the break, Tumbulgum came out in the second half looking dangerous making several runs at goal and when Tweed's Blake Broadwood was sent off for foul and abusive language with 25 minutes to go they looked to have the match won. Tumbulgum sealed their victory when Brett McMahon set up Chris Healy to goal.



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