Murwillumbah’s James Walker takes on the Bobcats’ defence.
Murwillumbah’s James Walker takes on the Bobcats’ defence. Blainey Woodham

Bobcats fight hard to claim points

BOBCATS were too good for Murwillumbah in their season-opening JH Williams Cup clash, claiming a hard-fought 3-1 victory at Barrie Smith Fields on Saturday.

Although the scoreline was not in Murwillumbah's favour, the boys produced good efforts all over the park in hot and taxing conditions.

In a fast opening to the first half, play moved from end to end and neither team was able to get the breakthrough until an overlapping Mitchell Nowlan opened the scoring for Bobcats in the 20th minute.

Nowlan found the back of the net after some good lead-up work from James Walker.

Murwillumbah equalised five minutes later when Nigel Chapman converted a short corner to set up a 1-1 scoreline at the break.

The stalemate remained until the last 10 minutes when Dwayne Newell scored after a couple of Murwillumbah defensive errors.

Peter Irby sealed the win with five minutes remaining after another well-worked short corner.

Murwillumbah newcomers Robbie Whitcher and Josh Edwards fitted in and combined well with their new teammates in their first games. Best players for Bobcats were Peter Irby and Mitchell Nowlan while Shaun Wedd was a standout for Murwillumbah.

In the other JH Williams Cup match, Kingscliff were too good for Murwillumbah Redbacks, running out 4-2 victors.

Following a year-long hiatus from the men's Premier League competition, Murwillumbah Redbacks faced 2010 premiership bridesmaids Kingscliff on Saturday.

In a fitting tribute to the late Kingscliff icon Neil ‘Matey' Prichard, both sides and spectators observed a minute's silence prior to the opening whistle.

Most keen judges would have anticipated a one-sided affair with the relatively untried Murwillumbah outfit considered rank outsiders but the underdogs began solidly and found themselves with the lead early in the match through an Oliver Crane strike.

Mixing muscle and some individual magic, the red, white and black dominated the first half and when Anthony Gresham found the net, Redbacks had an unlikely 2-0 lead at the break.

Kingscliff stormed back in the second half with Brad Julius scoring four goals to seal the win. Three of Julius' goals came via penalty corners and the other after a two-on-one play with Henry Prichard.

In matches played on the new artificial surface at Ballina, Ballina beat East Lismore 1-0 and Coraki edged out Northern Star 2-1.

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