Last Sunday afternoon the Ballina Seahorses defeated Alstonville 2-1 in the final round of the 2014 Anzac Cup group games, at Saunders Oval. The Seahorses opened their account in the first five minutes. Some nice lead up play saw the ball progress from one side of the park to the other to find Nick Key on the edge of the box. Nick literally turned on a dime and cracked a shot into the top corner to the elation of his team mates. Not long after Dave Betteridge burst through from the defence lining up a quick one two pass followed by a smashing shot that almost lifted the net from the posts.
Alstonville lost composure and they didn’t capitalise on the advantage of having the wind at their backs. The second half highlight were the advancing ominous storm clouds with the wind changing direction to the south west. The approaching clouds were so thick that the lights were required and the crowd were entertained by a lightning and thunder show. Alstonville capitalised on a defensive lapse to score mid-way through the second half and Ballina slowly rebuilt control of the game with some solid defence and nice counterattacking play. The Seahorses were unlucky not to extend their lead with Nick Key escaping down the right flank to centre a cross for a lunging Dave Bowder –Olsen who delivered a diving header that missed the cross bar by millimetres.
The result gave Ballina two wins out of their three allocated games and they narrowly missed out on advancing to the next round. The entire team put in a good effort and to pad this article out, no one player stood out, they all did their best, they played as a cohesive unit, they are confident about their next game and they feel really good about their winning form. Winners are grinners!
The Seahorses will play their first round of the premiership competition in another two weeks and there is no room for complacency. No doubt that coach Chris Layland will work with the squad to ensure that they are at their best for the all-important first round away game.