Big weekend for Tigers
IT was a big weekend of finals football for the Westlawn Tigers Football Club, which had three senior and four junior sides engaged in semi-finals.
At the senior level, the fourth division Westlawn Panthers qualified for the grand final with a 4-2 win over the previously undefeated Corindi Breakers.
Corindi, without their suspended star striker, were first on the board with a strike from outside the box to go 1-0 up. However, the Panthers were not phased and soon after Steve Smith converted a well-placed Joel Lowe cross to draw level.
Just before halftime, Panthers took the lead with the goal of the match when Dave Groth nailed his first touch on a poor Corindi goal kick to send it screaming back into the net.
With Corindi in the unusual position of being behind on the scoreboard, they came back hard to start the second half and were rewarded when their veteran, Kel Bennett, headed a corner in unchallenged to draw level at 2-all.
However, the Panthers were not rattled and Dave Groth headed in a corner soon after to go 3-2 up, before Joel Lowe put the result beyond doubt with a headed goal of his own.
The Coopers player of the match for the Panthers was Glen Sullivan, playing a good game at forward, out of his normal position, and offering some quality sledges on the Corindi backline.
Calm and collected Panthers coach John Pitkin will have to renew his stress medication prior to the grand final or hope they have Coopers on tap at the Coffs International Stadium.
Westlawn Tigers' youth division side will have to go the longer way to the grand final after going down to the Coffs United Lions 1-0.
Coffs' goal came three minutes from full time in a close major semi-final at the Den.
In a quality game, the Tigers had the better of the chances with only superb keeping by the Coffs goalie keeping the Lions in the match, including a great penalty save.
Lincoln Cooper was the Coopers man of the match for the Tigers, with Nathan Dougherty also good in goals and James Gorrie regularly cutting the Lions defence to shreds.
The Tigers are now likely to play Sawtell at home on Saturday to qualify for the grand final.
Westlawn's third division side unfortunately bowed out in the minor semi-final, losing 5-3 to Grafton City.
City dominated the first half, going into the sheds at halftime with a 3-0 lead.
The second half was a different story with Westlawn outscoring City, but failing to overcome the first half deficit.
Westlawn's goals went to Todd Heyman, Adam Sanders and Nathan James while Michael Bowles was the Coopers player of the match for the Tigers.
In the juniors, all the Westlawn sides progressed with the under-16s winning 3-1 in extra time over Iluka, the under-15s winning 5-3 on penalties over Majos, the under-14s winning 3-2 away at Yamba and the under-11s beating Maclean 1-0.
The under-11 Tigers play next Saturday for grand final qualification while the other junior Westlawn sides have already booked their places with Saturday's victories.