Coffs Coast Tigers vs Coffs United Lions
Coffs Coast Tigers take a valuable 1-0 lead into their second leg semi-final next week following a strong performance at home against Premiers Coffs United Lions. The Tigers went up 1-0 midway through the first half, and defended well for the rest of the match, keeping an off-pace Lions side well away from their goal.
The Lions struggled to get into the match as both sides committed cheap fouls and the game was continuously stopped. But no excuses from Lions Coach Glen Williams, who said that a lack of intensity was to blame for the defeat.
“We were running on 75% and they wanted to win the game more. They were keen, you could see it. Their shape was good and when the ball broke down for them they got everyone behind the ball and made it hard for us.”
The Tigers defence was the highlight of the game, despite no real penetration from the Lions. The Tigers were always quick to pressure United’s midfield, and stopped the creative players creating.
Tigers Coach Jason Snell said belief was the missing factor in previous years, and it’s what will guide them through to the Grand Final.
“Giving them beleif, they’ve grown into a side that believes they can go on with it and win big matches. There’s a good bond in the team, they’re all mates and they work for each other. Coffs are a good side so you can’t sit back and let them play, you’ve got to pressure them and they did that today.”
The second leg of this Semi Final will be played at McLean Street Oval next weekend.
Boambee Bombers vs Urunga Raiders
Boambee Bombers were unlucky to walk away with nothing from their first leg semi-final on Sunday, in a game that Urunga fell in and out of, and that Boambee dominated for large portions though Urunga won the match 2-1.
Boambee scored first and took a deserved lead, but couldn’t keep it for long as Fabrice Wamara showed some quality to keep Urunga in the match. Boambee pressed high and gave the Raiders no time on the ball, which forced cheap turnovers and ultimately gifted Boambee large chunks of possession. In the absence of Brady Parker, Naomichi was pushed out wide and gave Raider’s Full-back Lockie Indian-Manning a hard time all game.
This allowed for a creative midfield trio of Adam Pickup, Lockie Moye and Jack Malouf who looked a step ahead of the Raiders in transition and dangerous on the edge of their 18 yard box.
Bombers Captain Jake Stitt was disappointed with the result following one of the best performances from Boambee this season.
“I thought we were the better team for most of the game, there was a 20 minute patch in the second half where we went a bit quiet, but we had our chances and we’ve got to take them next week.”
One chance that stood out from the rest, in the dying minutes of the match, saw Naomichi receive the ball with his back to goal, and flicked it over his head for Christian Penny, who ran onto it inside the Raiders box and blasted just wide of the post.
The full-time whistle blew not long after, and the Bombers could only rue missed opporunities.
Raiders Captain Kale Hopper admitted they were lucky to escape with the points from that game, but hinted that top quality teams will grind out results on bad days.
“We were expecting a tough game today, and they pressed us hard and came out strong. A bit of quality at the right times got us through, but I think we would’ve been happy with a draw with the way the game went.”
Boambee now travel to Urunga next week for the second-leg.