Raiders red hot start
URUNGA signalled its intention to be a major contender in 2011 with a 5-0 drubbing of a disappointing Northern Storm.
The Raiders narrowly missed out on a finals berth last year but looked much-improved on Sunday despite the absence of playmaker Mitch Tutt.
Grant Homes and Ben Dooley both scored doubles for the Raiders to build up an impressive goal-difference buffer.
It was Homes on the scoresheet first after some tricky work by Al Snow at wide right. His flat cross was flicked on to allow Homes the easiest of goals to put the home side up after 14 minutes.
The Storm, though, battled well through the first half led by the heroic efforts of Jason Hart in centre midfield.
Hart was at the nexus of most of the good things the Storm produced, linking with Jamie Kennedy and Tristan Albert, the Storm’s two speedy front men.
The Raiders doubled its advantage prior to the break when Ben Dooley weaved down the right flank dodging several tackles before his shot from close range deflected past the diving Adrian Keegan.
It was Homes who extended the lead further early in the second stanza when he finished a series of close, quick and accurate passing between Arlen Horton, Jaxen Heward and Tom Frewen to open up the Storm defenders.
The next goal hurt the Storm as it had the opposition under some pressure and forced a backpass to keeper Raffe Brennan.
His clearing kick upfield finished at the feet of Dooley who side-footed in.
The final goal came from the right side when Jordan Paix took possession of a loose ball outside the Storm’s penalty area. He neatly evaded one defender and probably could have shot himself but fired in a cross for Frewen to thump in.
Only one other 1st Division match was played on the weekend as the tropical storm that hit the region on Saturday afternoon caused three matches to be postponed.
Woolgoolga produced its best form to topple Coffs Coast Tigers 3-0 at home.
MEN’S WEEKEND RESULTS:
Woolgoolga Wolves def Coffs Coast Tigers 3-0
Urunga Raiders def Northern Storm Thunder 5-0