A poor first half proved costly for Strikers as the defending Regional Super League premiers crashed out of contention with a loss to Sandhurst.MATTHEW GALEA June 4, 2014 3:55am
Strikers’ defence of the men’s Regional Super League has ended after a 2-1 loss at the hands of Sandhurst on the weekend.
Tim Scholz’s side went into the game knowing it had to take maximum points to have any hope of retaining its title, but came up short, with a poor first-half performance proving costly.
With no finals to be played in this year’s competition, the team that finishes on top wins, and with eight points between Strikers and top-placed Echuca-Moama after five rounds, the title defence is finished.
‘‘We didn’t play how we wanted to in the first half,’’ Scholz said.
‘‘We weren’t hungry enough for the ball and we were probably lucky to only be 1-0 down.’’
Strikers had goalkeeper Cam Druitt to thank for that.
Druitt was named Strikers’ best on the day for a heroic performance that was not rewarded at the other end.
Strikers created a host of opportunities in the second half, but lacked the composure to convert.
They did manage to equalise through Damien Black, but parity did not last as Caillan Welton scored his second of the day to give Sandhurst three crucial points, which keeps it in touch with the Water Rats.
‘‘We moved the ball a lot better in the second half and we were a lot hungrier,’’ Scholz said.
‘‘We didn’t show a lot of patience and whenever we got the ball it was sort of like we’d only go forward, which is why we’d constantly break down.’’
The meek defence of the RSL title has proven a sore point for Scholz and his team.
‘‘It’s very disappointing,’’ Scholz said.
‘‘We spoke about it after the game and it’s not nice to know that’s the RSL gone.’’
In spite of the result, Simon Cole and Brad Winzer were the other Strikers players to impress alongside Druitt.
Echuca-Moama remains in pole position, three points ahead of Sandhurst, following a 6-0 win against Senjuns.
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The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
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