Bandits ambushed by South Lismore

BURRINGBAR Bandits tried to protect the net when they faced South Lismore on Saturday afternoon at Lismore and their team support never wavered – but unfortunately the outcome was unfavourable.

The first division football semi-final put both teams to the test but it was the Bandits who buckled first as they simply didn’t have the manpower as they played the majority of the game with 10 men on the pitch.

President Jim Robertson said there was no excuse for their 1-0 loss but the players did weld together in their biggest fight of the season.

“With only 10 men – losing the captain and coach Mick Williams in the first 15 minutes to a collision with the goalie, resulting in a bad hip injury – made things very difficult,” Robertson said.

“We lost two players because they were issued yellow cards and we missed Calvin Chapman as he had the flu. We were a bit down and out but stuck together.

“The boys are not too disheartened. It hurt us more losing Mick because he was our most experienced player of the year. It was very close and we nearly got the ball in the net. We can hold our heads up high and it was a good night to celebrate ... win, lose or draw.”

The Bandits were severely hampered by lack of numbers and when South Lismore scored in the 30th minute, they threw everything they could into the gripping battle right until the final gong.

“The goal they scored came off the head of one of our players. It was a funny sort of a goal because nobody knew what happened. They called it an own goal,” Robertson said.

“Our goalie Nathan (Walker) did save a couple of nice goals and we kept trying to get some back with more attack so we pushed our sweeper up front for more attack.

“But they played good in defence when we had 10 players. We did have the firepower to get it but we only had 10.

“We were not disgraced or anything. In a semi, it is hard to come back with 10 men. We had a much better cheer squad than them though.”

The Bandits are taking their successful culture into next year as many players will be returning and there are many 16-year-olds coming through the ranks. “We had a good year,” Robertson said. “All the guys are coming back next season and a few young guys are coming on.”

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