Dragons turn on the style

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

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.

Pic­ture: LANA GAR­DENER

AC­TION: Dragons’ Lewis Walker shield­ing the ball

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