Old foes locked in battle

THE new-look North Coast Football Premier League kicked off with two familiar old foes doing battle at Toormina Oval on Sunday.

Sawtell and Urunga fought out a 1-all draw in a style typical of countless previous encounters.

Urunga with their never known when we,re beaten attitude and Sawtell for all their efforts couldn't.

The match opened with the Sawtell defence, France sweeping behind it and Phillips in front keeping things very tight and controlled at the back.

This pattern established Sawtell pushed forward using the width of the park and created several headed strikes on goal that went just wide or produced the first of many fine saves by Pomroy the Urunga keeper.

Urunga were not without chances of their own a fine shot by Ireland going just wide.

With PHillips calling the shots in the middle of the field and coming in for some special attention for his efforts Sawtell had the better of the first 20 minutes.

However it was Urunga first on the scoresheet, a well executed indirect free kick saw the Sawtell defensive wall breaking to soon and a drive by Wheeler left keeper Harris with no chance.

Urunga have always been a difficult side to break down, encouraged by the lead and with Darcy and new recruit Endemi very strong at the back this proved the case well into the second half.

Free kicks by Phillips either just missed the mark or found the keeper well positioned as did several chances to Parkin and Kelly.

Sawtell's frustrations were relieved in a five minute spell that saw some over enthusiastic defending by Urunga's Ireland recieve a red card.

While still reorganising following this setback they conceded an equaliser to Kelly after some good work by Parkin.

For the rest of the match Urunga were very well organised and try as they might Sawtell could not deliver the the knock out punch.

At the end of the day Urunga's coach Phil Lynch was happier than Ian Glover and staff who can only see this as an oppotunity lost.

For Sawtell Parkin and Kelly could not be faulted for lack of effort but the defensive trio of keeper Pomroy and backs Endemi and Darcy stood firm.

In reserve grade Sawtell recovered from a shaky start that included conceding two penalties missing one of their own but running out comfortable 6-2 winners in the end.

The highlights of which were a hat trick to Swift and some history in the making to Brett Harris who 25 years ago played in original Premier League and is still going strong in the latest version.

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