Fury’s pride hit for five

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

“A KICK in the guts” is the only way the North­ern Fury have de­scribed their 5- 1 loss at the hands of a fir­ing West­ern Pride.

Dreams of launch­ing a late charge into the Queens­land NPL fi­nals are all but over for the Fury af­ter Satur­day night’s re­sult at Brolga Park, and the go­ing will only get tougher with this week­end’s home against the sec­ond- placed Bris­bane Strik­ers.

The Fury are the lat­est in a string of NPL teams to en­dure a heavy de­feat at the hands of the sub­lime Pride, who are now shap­ing as pre­mier­ship dark horses fol­low­ing Satur­day’s lat­est win to make it five on the trot.

Lead­ing 2- 0 at half­time through goals from Mitchell Bird, who slot­ted his shot into the bot­tom cor­ner, and Jesse Rigby’s header on the halfhour mark, the Force weath­ered a resur­gent Fury to bag an­other quick dou­ble mid­way through the half.

The blows came from Ja­cob Minett and Dy­lan Wen­zelHalls, who made it two with less than five min­utes from full- time.

Fury’s Ben Hor­rocks scored an in­jury time con­so­la­tion goal, beat­ing the op­po­si­tion goal keeper with a sen­sa­tional 35m chip.

“It was a bit­ter pill to swal­low,” Fury cap­tain Corey Waples said.

“As a col­lec­tive we were not good enough, and now we have a big game against the Strik­ers.

“We went into it pretty con­fi­dent and our prepa­ra­tion was good, so there’s no ex­cuses.

“At half­time we weren’t happy but we still felt like we were in with a chance.

“When they got their third goal it was a kick in the guts, and the fourth re­ally hurt.

“Our heads dropped a bit, which is not our char­ac­ter and that was dis­ap­point­ing to see.”

The Force are now within a win of en­ter­ing the NPL top four, which ap­pears in­evitable given the way they dis­man­tled the Fury, who re­main eighth.

The Fury are still a math­e­mat­i­cal chance for fi­nals given they have an ex­tra game in hand, but Waples said play­ing pos­i­tive foot­ball was the ma­jor goal.

“Math­e­mat­i­cally it’s pos­si­ble but it looks doubt­ful,” he said.

“We’ll take it game by game and get as many wins as we can.”

Fury skip­per Corey Waples.

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