Lismore's rising Stars take Cup

THE Grafton Barbarians were no match for Lismore’s Northern Star as they took top honours in Sunday’s annual Grafton Hockey Association men’s Kelly Cup.

Played in front of a big crowd and brilliant weather Northern Star from Lismore beat Grafton Barbarians in a thrilling final.

Star was the first to score from close range midway through the first half and had several more opportunities before the changeover.

Barbs attacking chances were few and it was looking like a Star victory before Barbs enigmatic striker Josh Wainwright levelled with a powerful shot from a narrow angle on the right side of the circle to take the game into extra time.

Both teams had chances but Star striker James Harmon clinched the winner four minutes from time to give his team a well deserved 2-1 win.

In the Consolation cup North Lismore were victorious over a young Grafton Sailors team 2-0.

“It was a long day for everyone starting at 8am and the rescheduling was a headache,” Royals Hockey Club president Craig Blandford said.

“However, all teams played in the right spirit and it was a competitive but friendly atmosphere.

“Lots of people from the Grafton Hockey community helped to make things work on the day.

“Everyone said they would be back next year and we hope to keep on building the Kelly Cup up to its former glory days.”

The Saturday afternoon declaration that the Lower Fischer Park fields were unplayable saw a complete redraw for Sunday with all games shortened to 20 minutes and played on the Brent Livermore and Legends synthetic fields.

Royals Hockey Club, organisers of this year’s event welcomed teams from as far as Port Stephens, Port Macquarie and Inverell as well as Coffs Harbour, Lismore and the locals.

Six teams contested the A-grade Kelly Cup while 15 teams competed in the B-grade Consolation Cup.

Initiated in 1951 with a trophy donated by John Kelly, this one-day mens’ hockey carnival is believed to be one of the few if not the only event of this nature still being held in NSW.

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