Roos keeping faith in fight for grand final honours

SOLID goalkeeping could hold the key to victory in tonight's Football Far North Coast first grade grand final between Tweed Kangaroos and Lismore Thistles at Oakes Oval, Lismore.

The recent good form of goalkeepers Luke Godfrey (Tweed) and Mitchell Pickford (Thistles) is likely to be the major factor in %determining who will win the Newton Denny Chapelle Championship, according to Tweed coach Roger Hoy.

"I believe we have the best %keeper in the comp and Lismore's keeper has been in good form also of late," Hoy said.

"There's a number of ways we can win the match, but the form of our keeper will be a major part, I think, in winning."

The two northern championship heavyweights will go into the grand final with nothing between them, as previous bragging rights were shared and the major semi-%final went to penalties before Tweed gained the advantage.

Tweed will be at full strength, while Thistles will be without the suspended Mitchell Rees, after the defender was sent off last week.

They do, however, share the same degree of confidence, Tweed having overcome Thistles in the major semi and Thistles coming from behind to win over pointscore champions Pottsville last Sunday.

"We're all fit and our squad's ready to go. As far as I'm concerned there'll be no excuses this weekend," Hoy said.

After steering the Kangaroos to an impressive penalty shootout win over Lismore Thistles in the opening round of the finals, Godfrey produced a similar performance at Pottsville on Saturday.

The Kangaroos, third after the regular season, downed the minor premiers 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out, with Godfrey again impressing between the posts. But Hoy said it had been a team effort during this finals campaign.

"It has been a real group effort for us to make the final," Hoy said.

"I think we have had more than 40 players in our squad, and every single one of them has contributed to us getting there."

Hoy said the decision to stage the final at Lismore would not be a disadvantage for the Kangaroos.

"It's like if you're in the FA Cup you have to play the final at Wembley," he said.

"We are looking forward to playing at Oakes Oval. "It has been a happy hunting ground for us, we won the Anzac Cup there earlier in the year.

"I think we're better prepared now than we were before the Anzac Cup match. "I think that pure heart and the desire to win will earn us the match.

"As a team they've earnt their position and deserve to be there.

"We certainly know what it feels like to have a victory beer in those change rooms after the game and that's what I hope to be again doing late on Sturday night."

The match starts at 6.45pm.

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