THE NAMBUCCA Strikers 2nd Division men’s team booked their place in the 2017 North Coast Football grand final with a resounding and clinical win over Boambee in the return leg of the semi-final.
Already holding a 3-1 advantage heading into the tie, the Strikers knew that a sharp start on home turf on Saturday could end the contest early. Boambee had other ideas though and defended desperately.
Wave after wave of attack from the Strikers, led by midfield maestro Carlos Justo and workhorse Mark Williams began to take its toll.
The opening goal came off the head of a Boambee defender and into his own net from a Brandon Gregory set piece.
The second came after some patient build up around the box, with Justo putting Clay Urquhart through to slot past the Bombers’ custodian for the second.
Despite dominating possession and field position, the half time score was flattering to Boambee at 2-0.
The second half followed on from the first with some Strikers players rested. Ethan Hocking and Romy Hewson played calm, focussed football and offered extra attacking angles from their wide positions. The former, unlucky not to have bagged a couple of goals already.
The Strikers pressed on and entertained the crowd with some delightful build up passing and control. Justo was magic in midfield and lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box.
Williams was persistent and linked up with front men Urquhart and Nick Hickey on many occasions. Hickey’s hard work was rewarded with a tap-in to increase the lead and kill the game off and Urquhart got his second for the day.
Hocking converted a spot kick after Urquhart was felled in the box, while another own goal, to the same player, completed the misery for the visitors.
Brad Wilkes and Shaun Snowden kept it tight at the back while Dave McBarron kept a clean sheet in goals for the afternoon. It finished 7-0 and could have been more – the Strikers’ brand coming to the fore in a dominant and focussed display of football.
Playing in a similar vein in this weekend’s grand final against Corindi will see them in a good position to lift the trophy. Kick-off is Saturday 10.45am at the Coffs International Stadium.