Smith hat-trick routs Easts
GRANT Smith scored three and set up one in Ballina's demolition of East Lismore 6-2 in Far North Coast A-Grade hockey on Saturday.
Star got over Coraki 3-2.
Ballina do battle with Coraki in the final next week while Star make the Grand Final for their eighth consecutive year.
Ballina were by far the better in the opening 10 and Smith made no mistake in putting a rebound penalty corner shot away, giving Easts' 'keeper Luke Kelso no chance.
Ballina were relentless in keeping Easts under pressure and Smith got his second after making the play, laying off and getting a return pass and into the goal in the 18th minute.
Minutes later, Ballina went three up when Toby Cronin got a slight touch and then the fourth straight after when Nathan Fryer got a touch on a Smith pass.
Easts were at sixes and sevens and had no answer to the Ballina onslaught. They went to the break at 4-0. Easts got their first and only penalty corner six minutes into the second half and did not convert.
Straight after that, Marcus Currie picked up a loose ball and neatly put it over Ballina's keeper Peter Ryan to start their comeback. Smith got his third 15 into the half to make it five for the visitors. Daniel Hughes for East Lismore got a consolation goal in the final minutes and Nathan Fryer scored for Ballina right on fulltime to give Ballina the victory.
Star and Coraki did not disappoint: they started hard and stayed that way.
Star hit the lead when Steve Boothroyd scored in the seventh minute. They could have gone further in front if it wasn't for brilliant 'keeping by Cameron Horne.
Star maintained the pressure and Matt Harmon scored with a cricket shot in the final 12 of the half. Coraki did well to keep the score to two in the first section.
In the second section, Star went to three up when Chris McGuiness nailed one past Horne in the 12th minute. In the final five, Ethan White put a touch on a penalty corner shot to put Coraki on the board and soon after Bailey Powell nailed a penalty corner shot to give Coraki a sniff, but Star hung on for the win.
Junior Grand Finals
- Under 11 Coraki and Star,
- Under 13 Coraki and Ballina,
- Under 15 Coraki and Ballina Blue.