WARATAHS duo (from left) Mark Irby and Adam Guest line up against Mullumbimby rivals Mitchell Nowlan and Dean Gadowski.
WARATAHS duo (from left) Mark Irby and Adam Guest line up against Mullumbimby rivals Mitchell Nowlan and Dean Gadowski.

Underdogs threaten final upset

IN what is shaping as a classic David versus Goliath clash, Mullumbimby will take on Waratahs in the Tweed Border Hockey Division One grand final at Murwillumbah tomorrow.

Mullumbimby were forced to battle their way through to the season decider after scraping past Casuarina in last week's preliminary final.

The sudden-death encounter finished a draw but Mullumbimby advanced to the grand final having finished the regular season higher on the ladder than the Tweed Coast team.

By contrast, Waratahs cruised into their 33rd consecutive grand final after dominating the home and away season.

Waratahs will start tomorrow's match at Barrie Smith Hockey Fields clear favourites but if enthusiasm is a measure of success, Mullumbimby promise an upset.

The underdogs will head into the match with nothing to lose against the powerhouse Waratahs who were edged out by Gold Coast-based All Stars in last year's decider.

The two sides have met three times this season with Waratahs triumphant on each occasion, including a 4-1 triumph in the major semi-final earlier this month. While Waratahs won convincingly on the scoreboard, Mullumbimby will draw confidence from the game having matched their rivals until the dying stages.

Mullumbimby have worked hard on their attack at training this week, knowing a repeat of last week's goalless effort against Casuarina will surely end their premiership hopes.

Strike forwards Daniel Cook and Adam Gadowski loom as crucial players while the Mullumbimby defensive line will have to be at its best to contain Waratahs goal-scoring ace Neville Newell.

The veteran striker has starred for Waratahs this season and leads the competition's goal scoring list. His efforts up front have been matched by that of the Waratahs defence led by Mark Irby at left half and goalkeeper Mitchell Paron.

With the departure of All Stars from the Tweed competition and moving north to the Gold Coast, tomorrow's grand final will produce a new premier tomorrow afternoon.

The afternoon could prove to be one for the Waratahs club which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The club will field teams in all three grand finals.

Waratahs face Kingscliff in the Division Three grand final at 1pm, before taking on Pottsville in the Division Two decider at 2.30pm.

The Division One grand final is scheduled to commence at 4pm.

All matches will be at the Barrie Smith Hockey Fields in Murwillumbah.

For a complete wrap of tomorrow's final, see monday's Daily News.



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