Dragons turn on the style
IT WAS a weekend of mixed results for the Douglas United Football Club in their semi final matches.
The Blood Orange Reserves went down to Mareeba in their major semi final on Saturday night by a score of 5-1 while the Nathan Verri Premiers comfortably accounted for Stratford 6-1 at fortress Cassowary on Sunday evening in the elimination semi final.
The Premiers put in arguably their best performance of the season as they comfortably accounted for a slightly under strength Stratford side and look to be timing their run perfectly as they head to the pointy end of the season.
There is even hope that there will be a full strength squad to pick form come grand final time as Jamie Gosling edges towards fitness.
The fact that the team is playing so well without their top scorer is very encouraging for the Dragons and the way that they went about their business on Sunday evening will have coach James Turner quietly confident going into this weeks game against Mareeba up at Borzi Park.
The result was never in doubt as the Dragons shot out of the blocks, taking the lead in the opening minutes when Colin Cooling was on the end of a lovely Dragons move to open the scoring.
Such was the Dragons’ dominance that any score might have been possible and they did add two more goals before half time to Liam McInally and Lewis Walker.
The one blot came when keeper Mackintosh was challenged for the ball and spilt it with the ball falling to a Stratford player who was able to slot home.
The second half followed a similar pattern with the Dragons dominating from the off. The boys at the back kept the ball well and were not duly troubled while Sean Seavill was again at his mercurial best dictating play and controlling the tempo of the match.
The front four of Lewis Walker, Ian Marsh, Colin Cooling and Liam McInally were all combining well and linked up to create the fourth goal for Walker before Ian Marsh put the icing on the cake with two goals including a thunderous strike from 25 yards that sailed into the top corner.
There were any number of candidates for the Court House Hotel Man of the Match after such a vintage display.
Perry McIlroy and Sam Buckler were impressive at the back, Luke Finnie was at his best in midfield, snapping into challenges and using the ball sensibly and Sean Seavill was a class above but Lewis Walker was handed the award after his two goals and a fantastic all round contribution.
Next up for the Dragons is a trip up to Borzi Park to take on Mareeba at a ground where they have not been beaten this season.
However after accounting for them in the FNQ Cup final earlier in the season and on the back of the weekend performance confidence is high that the Dragons will be making a second successive grand final appearance.
The Blood Orange Reserves are still alive and will play Marlin Coast in the preliminary final despite going down 5-1 to Mareeba on Saturday.
It could not have been a worse start for the Dragons as they were behind within the first thirty seconds and two down minutes later.
There was a response from the Dragons but they still went in trailing 4-0 at half time. There was a bright moment when Tom Moffat scored an audacious lob to score from thirty-five yards.
This was followed by a period of sustained Dragons pressure where first James Turner and then Jordan Butterss fired narrowly wide while Moffat also hit the post.
Ultimately thought Mareeba scores again to make it 5-1 and the Dragons will have to be much improved if they are to gain the opportunity for revenge in the grand final.
ACTION: Dragons’ Lewis Walker shielding the ball