Willis wins day for waratahs
A TIM Willis wonder-goal snared Waratahs a hard fought 2-1 victory over Coraki in the men's JH Williams Hockey grand final at Barrie Smith Fields on Sunday.
With the game hanging in the balance and seemingly destined for an extra-time showdown, Willis dragged back a short corner and fired an unstoppable shot straight through the flailing Coraki defences.
While Willis will be recognised as the match-winner, it was perhaps the unsung efforts of Mitch Paron in the Waratah goal mouth that gave his men an opportunity.
Aside from Coraki's lone goal, Paron was impenetrable, getting his body behind everything launched his way in a game dominated by the forwards.
In a well-balanced, fast-paced and physical encounter, it was Waratahs who struck first through Mick Newell, but true to the even-handed nature of the game, Coraki soon equalised through Anthony McGrath.
The opening stages of the women's final between Casuarina and Kingscliff however were somewhat more one-sided.
Casuarina dominated possession and territory throughout the first half and simply held it over their younger opponents.
A Kim Tucker hat-trick, answered by a lone Lorelle Morrissey goal granted Casuarina a comfortable 3-1 lead at the break.
Whatever manager Paul Stanford said to his girls during a massive half-time spray worked wonders, as Kingscliff came out firing in the second term.
The stirred-up underdogs banged home three goals - two to Cath Colan and one to Nik Harrison - to bring themselves back into the contest.
But when Tucker found the net for her fourth and Margy Coleman made it five for Casuarina, a dismal first half proved too costly for the Kingscliff girls.
The final score was 5-4, a credible scoreline considering Casuarina hammered United 6-2 in their semi-final in Lismore on Saturday, while Kingscliff dug deep to hold out a late onslaught from host's Labrador in their semi.
In the men's semi-finals on Saturday, Waratahs beat Capri 3-1 in Labrador, while Coraki upset Northern Star in Lismore.