The Ballina premiers travelled to Lismore last Saturday with high hopes of securing some important competition points. However their hopes were shattered with a 9 -2 drubbing at the hands of a ruthless Rovers outfit. Rovers were coming off an embarrassing and highly unexpected 8 nil defeat at the hands of Byron the previous Saturday, so they had a point to prove and the Seahorses were in the firing line. Rovers scored five goals in the first half and another four goals in the second in what turned out to be an exercise for retrieving the ball from the back of the net for the Seahorses.
Rovers demonstrated a full repertoire of scoring techniques including diving headers, long volleys and getting behind the defence to advance directly to the goal. Ballina managed a goal each half with Matt Jeffery scoring from inside the box with a nice left footer in the first half complemented with a similar effort from Ben Presbury in the second half. According to the spectators Rovers seemed to have scored at least one of their goals from an offside position and they can consider themselves fortunate as their high tally of goals will almost offset the previous week’s deficit.
To their credit the Seahorses toiled away in what was an extremely physical tussle. However the Rovers had better speed and strength across the park and this served to deplete any confidence that the Ballina players had in their ability to get back into the game. So it is back to the drawing board for the Seahorses and they need to regroup their thoughts so they can approach the remaining first round games in a more positive mindset. No doubt the coach, Chris Layland, will have his charges trying to recover some of the efficient ball movement and tight control and pressure that was a feature of their early season form.
Next Sunday Ballina will host the high flying Lismore Workers; this promises to be an exciting encounter and hopefully the Seahorses will adopt a motivational approach to restore some balance and pride after coming of such a monumental defeat. Kick off 12.30pm for the reserves and 2.30pm for Premiers.