Coraki tops in a tough A-Grade hockey tussle
NORTHERN Star secured three Grand final spots when the Reserve Grade side defeated Ballina 4-2.
Ballina progressed to the C Grade Grand final, beating Summerlanders; Coraki to the B Grade defeating North Lismore; Star in Reserve grade defeating Ballina.
In the A Grade Coraki got over a gallant Ballina 3-2 in a physical and fast game. It took Ballina 25 minutes to cross Coraki's line with a brilliant Scott Hamilton solo run and back-stick shot under extreme pressure, giving keeper Horne no chance.
Until that point the spoils were even and both sides were quick to attack but both were equal in defence until Hamilton's break.
Matt Scurr levelled the game just before half time with another brilliant back-stick shot. We went to the break at 1-1.
Coraki came out firing in the second, forcing a penalty corner in the first 40 seconds then another but with no result.
Ben Moss put Coraki in front with a touch off a Scurr pass five minutes in.
The game became very hard and fast and Ballina were finding it tough going midway through the section.
Toby Cronin scored a brilliant goal off a Grant Smith pass to level things with 18 to go.
Ballina lifted and got the better of the game for a period and they were looking for Smith.
Coraki kept Smith under control, making him unable to influence the game as he normally would. With four to go, David Brown got a touch on the ball into the goal to give Coraki the advantage in the final minutes and the win.
Both sides gave it their all with some outstanding defence and attacking raids throughout.
Coraki take on Star in the big one next week. In C Grade Star v Ballina, in B Grade Ballina take on Coraki, Reserve Grade Coraki v Star, as is the A Grade.