Soccer: Richmond Rovers set up a showdown

RICHMOND Rovers have set up a showdown with minor premiers Byron Bay for the first grand final berth after a tense 1-0 home win over a gritty Workers in the Far North Coast premier League soccer qualifying semi-final.

MAN ON: Workers’ Jamie Hill tries to shake off Richmond Rovers’ Stephen Field in the game at East Lismore yesterday.
MAN ON: Workers’ Jamie Hill tries to shake off Richmond Rovers’ Stephen Field in the game at East Lismore yesterday. STEVE MACKNEY

Both sides started brightly and with the wind at their back Rovers had the better of the first half but solid defence from Workers' backline kept them at bay.

Central defenders Jay Keevers and Daune Hoare largely contained Rovers strikers Bobby Bugden and Jake Heffernan, while at the other end Rovers' defence, led by Scott Flynn and Jeremy Perkins, was also rock solid, giving little away to Workers strikers Bill Latimer and Matt Keevers.

With few chances, it became a battle for midfield dominance.

Workers used the wind well after half-time with some long balls from Jay Keevers causing problems, but the turning point came from a Rovers corner.

Brad Bugden whipped in a low cross that deflected to the far post where Jake Heffernan headed it back across the face of goals for Scott Flynn to rise above the pack and head in the winner.

The goal took the wind out of Workers' sails. They regrouped to have Rovers under pressure in the closing stages but failed to find an elusive equaliser.

The Redmen will now have to win a sudden-death home semi against dark horse Lennox Head to keep their grand final dream alive.