Lions roar past Storm
PRE-MATCH whispers of being vulnerable proved premature for Coffs United as it flexed its muscles in a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Northern Storm at Mclean Street.
It was a reminder to the rest of the competition the Lions mean business and are not willing to settle for anything less than another premiership.
Despite a tentative opening half the Lions came to life with live wire Chris Dooley scoring twice in the second half followed by strikes from Nathan Silvy and a Sam Mackay.
For Coffs United coach Mike smith it was the big game experience of his side which saw it stand above and beyond its opposition.
"It was a good game from the boys, it was very even early on but we took the upper hand in the second half and didn't look back," Smith said.
"Northern storm are not a bad team but in the end our experience in important matches stood out and we were able to capitilise."
The win is the perfect kickstart for the lions who now face a difficult run of three games in seven days.
Smith believes his team is beginning to hit form.
"With so many games called off so far this season it has been hard to build any momentum and consistency," he said.
"Today's match was a good showing and hopefully we can continue to build on our performance."
Northern Storm coach Jade Porter felt his side missed out on a great opportunity.
"We showed up for the first half and really stuck with them through the opening 45 minutes," Porter said.
"Unfortunatley we couldn't maintain that standard and Lions took over the game.
"It is only early days in the season and we have plenty of chances to get back on track so I'm not too disappointed with the result."
Despite the loss Porter singled out the performance of 16 year old Riley Dylan
"Riley had a great game today and was rewarded with a goal late on.
"For someone so young he showed plenty of composure and was one of our best performers."
In the rounds other matches Woolgoolga drew 1-1 with Sawtell, Maclean beat Coffs Tigers 3-2 at Polworth drive and Urunga secured a 3-1 victory over Westlawn at home.
COFFS UNITED LIONS 4 (C Dooley 2 N Silvy S Mackay) bt NORTHERN STORM 1 (R Dylan)
At McLean St, Coffs Harbour