Urunga Raiders beat Northern Storm
URUNGA cemented its place in the top four with a solid 4-2 win over Northern Storm in a clash that had plenty of goals, cards and entertaining football.
Within six minutes each side had scored a goal and the thrill didn’t stop.
The contest had barely started when the home side struck via Jai Waddick who latched on to a loose ball in the penalty area after a free kick.
If the Raiders enjoyed the early lead it was only fleeting as the Storm bounded down the field. Paul Moss weaved around one defender before firing in a cross to Ryan Cole. Unfortunately for the Raiders the ball hit Josh McGovern’s arm and the Storm was awarded a penalty.
Cole stepped up and smacked it in sending Raffe Brennan the wrong way.
The Raiders’ next opportunity came before half time when Josh McGovern played a simple half pass off Ben Dooley. It sliced opened the Storm defenders. McGovern closed quickly on goal and whipped in a shot that looked net bound except for the diving Brad Palmer who parried it around the near post to deny the Raiders a go-ahead goal.
The deadlock was finally broken on the hour after Waddick flicked in a simple ball for McGovern to stroke in. McGovern was unmarked and made the Storm pay.
The Storm lost some measure of composure at this point and Mark Latham was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Being a man up was a green light for the Raiders and they certainly lifted a gear scoring their third soon after Latham’s exit. In a move that opened the Storm like a hot knife through butter, Dooley swept into the penalty area, having played a significant part in the move, and whacked in number three to finish it.
The Storm was fighting hard but were obviously up against it. Scott Carpenter was the next to be sent off to join Latham for an early shower and the Storm were down down to only nine men.
The Raiders were awarded a late penalty after Mitch Tutt’s run into the Storm’s penalty area was terminated rather abruptly and Harry Gale converted to make it 4-1.
The Storm’s Ryan Cole was able to steal a late goal but it was too little too late.