Sprint finish: Grafton City’s Shannon Connor races to the ball against Westlawn in the Third Division.
Sprint finish: Grafton City’s Shannon Connor races to the ball against Westlawn in the Third Division.

Dominey gifts City the points

GRAFTON soccer fans, deprived of action since September last year, were treated to not one but two games of soccer in a ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.

In the first match of 2010, the Grafton City Second and Third Division sides hosted Westlawn at their new home ground of McKittrick Park - also known as ‘The Jungle’.

The first instalment of the afternoon’s entertainment began when the Third Division Bulls drew 1-1 against the Westlawn Jaguars.

Westlawn began the better of the teams putting the City Bulls under considerable pressure and were unlucky not to score in the first 10 minutes when they hit the post only to see the ball bounce back into play. Grafton were scrambling in defence in this period and their inability to string many passes together continually gave the ball back to their opposition.

The opening goal was scored by the Jaguars not long after the half-hour mark with a well-taken header at the far post from a corner kick.

However, to their credit, the Grafton side equalised in the shadows of the half-time whistle with a strike by Greg Falconer after a kick across the goal mouth was not cleared by the Westlawn defenders.

In the second-half the Bulls thought they had taken the lead only to see a hotly disputed goal disallowed even though the ball appeared to have crossed the goal line. Several more scoring opportunities were wasted and the match fizzled out to a tame draw.

One of the best on field for the Grafton Bulls was Shannon Connor who worked tirelessly in both attack and defence.

The second game saw the Grafton City Rhinos pitted against the Westlawn Tigers and spectators who stayed for this match were treated 3-1 victory for the visitors. A seesawing opening 20 minutes saw both teams take time to develop cohesion and waste opportunities in front of goal. The best scoring chance in the first half was by the Jaguars who had the ball over the goal line only to have it disallowed for interference in the goal mouth.

The second stanza, in direct contrast to the first half, was a goal scoring feast with four goals being marked on the scorecard. Westlawn opened the scoring on the 15-minute mark with a strike that dribbled across the goal mouth but defeated the diving efforts of the City keeper Robbie Kean. Five minutes later, the Tigers doubled their lead when a cross from left field found an unmarked Westlawn player who had all the time in the world to find the back of the net.

It took Grafton Rhinos more than 30 minutes into the second-half to open their season’s scoring account but it came from a beautiful piece of individual brilliance when the youthful Jake Dominey dribbled into the 18-yard penalty box and scored from close range.

Two minutes later and with about 10 minutes remaining, Westlawn scored the final goal of the day’s proceedings to end up comfortable 3-1 winners.

Next week’s matches see both Grafton City sides travel to Rushforth Park to take on South Services Gunners. Matches kick off at 1pm and 3pm.

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