'Roos win in shootout
By TANIA PHILLIPS
TWEED Heads Soccer club's decision to withdraw form the Football Far North Coast (FFNC) Premier League play-off to concentrate on the First Division finals series seems to have paid immediate dividends.
The Kangaroos, who finished the regular season in third place, upset second-placed Lismore Thistles in Lismore on Saturday beating them 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out. The two teams had been locked at 2-all at full-time after Tweed hit the crossbar on three occasions during extra time.
The hard-fought win sets up an all-Tweed derby in next week's preliminary final with the Kangaroos to play minor premiers Pottsville with the winner marching straight through to the grand final to be played at Lismore on September 15.
Thistles will play the winner of the sudden-death game between Tumbulgum and Alstonville which was post-poned at the weekend due to the rain. The game is expected to be played at Alstonville on Wednesday night.
Tweed Heads coach Roger Hoy said his team had pulled out of the play-offs for the Premier League spot left vacant by the migration of Maclean to the Coffs Harbour competition because they believed it would be too tough to play five games in just 16 days.
The club, third for the past two years in first division, had been disappointed not to be offered the spot outright or two have played off against Lismore Workers (second last in premier league this season) when their finals campaign was over. Hoy said it was unfair to have a team that finished sixth in such a play-off.
Goalkeeper Luke Godfrey was Tweed's hero on Saturday saving Lismore's second penalty shot and setting things up for the penalty takers.
Earlier, Tweed had opened the scoring when Corey Fletcher latched onto a Blake Broadwood cross in the 25th minute. The Kangaroos led 1-0 at the break but the advantage was short lived with Thistles finding the equaliser just 10 minutes after the resumption of play.
When Paul Laurie scored with 20 minutes to go, the Kangaroos looked like winners but again Thistles responded, grabbing the equaliser just five minutes later.
Meanwhile, rain affected the final round games of both Murwillumbah Services and Kingscliff Wolves with all Gold Coast Soccer games called off at the weekend. Murwillumbah Services had been due to play Broadbeach at home on Saturday in their final Premier League game of the year while Kingscliff were due to host Tugun in First Division clash. Both games will be played mid-week with Gold Coast Soccer expected to announce the times early this week.
A full report on the Football Far North Coast Premier League will appear in tomorrow's Daily News including a farewell to Burringbar.