Dragons on a roll

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

IN FRONT of their home fans at Cas­sowary Park the Nathan Verri Dragons firmly put the Le­ichardt Lions in their place in a re­match be­tween last sea­son’s grand fi­nal­ists.

Af­ter a long pre-sea­son and hav­ing trained and played on the sec­ond pitch, this was the first op­por­tu­nity for the side to play on the num­ber one pitch and its new sur­face and it didn’t take long for the Dragons to ex­ert their dom­i­nance. Jamie Gosling man­aged to find some space out wide, and af­ter toy­ing with his defender found Daniel Bate­man whose left foot vol­ley in a crowded box gave the keep lit­tle chance.

Gosling hav­ing set up the first goal was again at hand to tuck his third penalty away of the sea­son af­ter a Le­ichardt defender was judged to have han­dled the ball in the penalty area from a Dragons cross.

At 2-0 up it was time for the Dragons to put the match to bed, but like the week be­fore they lacked the com­po­sure to put Le­ichardt un­der real pres­sure, and it was Le­ichardt that re­sponded first. A need­less foul just out­side the area re­sulted in a free kick that the same fouled mid­fielder stepped up and placed his shot un­der the wall that seemed to jump, leav­ing the Dragons keeper Chris­tian McIn­tosh lit­tle chance.

At half­time the Dragons spoke of show­ing that ruth­less­ness and qual­ity and en­sur­ing the re­sult was com­pre­hen­sive and the Dragons didn’t dis­ap­point. Af­ter a lovely piece of football in and around the halfway line Bate­man found him­self too much time and space bear­ing down on goal, and from 30 yards out picked his spot and sent the ball into the top right hand cor­ner.

The Dragons’ fourth goal was Bate­man’s third, Matty Smith played Gosling in with a short cor­ner, and wrig­gling free of the defender Smith had too much time to pick out Bate­man whose cheeky lit­tle header nes­tled into the far post to com­plete his per­fect hat­trick - a goal with his left foot, right foot and head - to earn the Court House man of the match.

There was more to come for both sides at Cas­sowary Park, when a deep free-kick found cap­tain Nick Tither at the far post whose cush­ioned header back across goal led to a goal mouth scram­ble. Gosling was first to re­act and prod the ball home, scor­ing his sec­ond, and the Dragons’ fifth.

Coach James Turner was happy with the re­sult.

ON A ROLL: Daniel Bate­man chalked up a hat­trick for the Dragons fupicbyNEIL WEAVERS

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