The Macleay Valley Rangers secured the Football Mid North Coast Premier League minor premiership for the first time since 2012 in style, defeating the Camden Haven Redbacks 6-1 on Saturday.
The Rangers have led the league since the opening round and with two games remaining in the competition, coach Dean Riordan will take the opportunity to rest players with niggling injuries.
“It is a luxury to have it all wrapped up with two rounds left to play and it shows how consistent our results have been this year,” Riordan said.
“It gives us the chance to keep those blokes on the sidelines who are feeling a bit worse for wear after a long season.”
Macleay Valley will also have a bye in the opening weekend of the finals.
They have won 12 of their 14 matches, only dropping points in a 2-2 draw with Port Saints and a 1-0 loss against the Taree Wildcats.
The Rangers’ latest victory extends their winning streak to five.
They dominated the opening seven minutes against the Redbacks but conceded the opening goal against the run of play.
They quickly overturned the deficit as they went on a rampage for the remaining 38-minutes, scoring five times for a 5-1 half-time lead.
“It was a positive to see the side respond to conceding the opening goal so well,” Riordan said.
The Rangers took their foot off the pedal in the second half, scoring the one goal in a lacklustre 45-minutes of football.
Andrew Potter and Jesse Polzin grabbed doubles while Kurt Riordan grabbed his first goal of the season and Sam Potter rounded out the scoring.
Sam Potter was awarded the man of the match.
Sam Applegate and Kurt Riordan will miss this weekend’s match with Wallis Lakes due to suspension.
Applegate picked up his sixth yellow card of the season and missed the games against the Redbacks as part of his two-game suspension while Riordan grabbed his fourth yellow on Saturday.
Saturday’s match will kick off at 3pm with the Rangers on the road for the contest.
Wallis Lakes will be desperate for a win to hold onto fifth spot and a place in the finals.