Northern Storm Troopers dent Nambucca Strikers finals hopes in North Coast Football

IT WASN'T quite perform or perish but it was a darn near thing as a talented yet inconsistent Nambucca Strikers lost control of their destiny in the North Coast Football men's 2nd division competition this afternoon.

The blue, white and reds had been tethered inside the Top Four for most of the season, but have been drifting late at the wrong time - and today was the chance to make a statement against Northern Storm Troopers who were also chasing a play-offs spot at home at Korora.

Nambucca opened the match with intent and had some early chances, but they'd seemingly forgotten to pack their finishing game in the kit.

The hosts withstood, and 16 minutes in on a rare raid into the Nambucca half they made no mistake to go one-up.

The Troopers had the better of the next half hour as the match settled into a probing contest.

For the Strikers, Grant Martin was a dominant figure as a holding midfielder, while Zac Baldwin and Harley Parker seemed the most likely to get a leveller.

But just before the break it was the Troopers who seized control, a clinical header from a corner doubling the ask.

The contest was buried 15 minutes after the resumption when Storm went three to the good to set up the final scoreline.

The problems mounted for the Strikers - who are still a chance at making the finals though it's no longer in their hands - when Blake McNeil blew what is possibly the largest hamstring in the league.

With grumbles, groans and a girlfriend to lean on, the rock of the Strikers defence hobbled back to the sheds.

Nambucca finally got a shot on target when the talented Kai Allan, who had been pushed forward, snapped one sharp into the top left of goal only to be denied by the Storm keeper.

Also making the news: