War­riors take place in top four af­ter long- over­due vic­tory

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

T O W N S V I L L E W a r r i o r s have al­most booked their place in the North Queens­land Foot­ball pre­mier league fi­nals af­ter scor­ing a drought break­ing 2- 0 win against Saints Eagles Souths.

Bat­tling through in­jury and go­ing win­less from their past seven games, War­riors again played a hand­ful of re­serve­g­rade play­ers in the must- win Round 17 en­counter.

But War­riors pushed hard to earn the win and as a re­sult leapfrog Bur­dekin into fourth.

Win again this week­end and War­riors coach Graeme Bonato be­lieves his team will se­cure a fi­nals berth.

“We’ve re­ally been strug­gling with depth dur­ing the last 3- 4 weeks,” Bonato said.

“In­juries have hit us hard, in­clud­ing Justin Rawl­ins ( ham­string) and we’ve had to bring a lot of re­serves through.

“Things haven’t gone to plan and we’re not in the best sit­u­a­tion, but we got an im­por­tant win.

“The way we got it was great as well, it will do us a lot of good and it puts us back into the top four be­cause other re­sults went our way.”

Bur­dekin lost to MA Olympic 3- 1 and lad­der lead­ers Brothers thumped third placed Rebels 4- 0.

This week­end’s catch- up will see teams play the same op­po­nent again, mean­ing War­riors will aim to re­peat their match­win­ning per­for­mance against SES and pos­si­bly go an­other win clear of Bur­dekin.

“If re­sults re­peat them­selves that should guar­an­tee us fi­nals,” Bonato said.

“Whether we fin­ish near the top or scrape in, I’m con­fi­dent we can go a long way through fi­nals.

“We’ve shown through­out the sea­son that we can beat the top sides and on our day we can beat any­one.”

Rawl­ins could soon re­turn to ac­tion in a pos­i­tive note for War­riors, with Bonato say­ing the team linch­pin should be back for fi­nals. NQ PRE­MIER LEAGUE Brothers 4 ( Sean Howe 2, Anthony Roul­ston, Mick Eisen­hutt) def Rebels 0

Townsville War­riors 2 ( Masi Omari 2) def Saints Eagles Souths 0

MA Olympic ( Ash­ley Goldfinch 2, Stephen Black­burn) def Bur­dekin FC 1 ( Joshua Valle)

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