Hastings League elimination final: Laurieton Stingrays to clash with Lower Macleay Magpies

Can't wait: Laurieton Stingrays captain Kieren Roberts is excited about this weekend's elimination final against Lower Macleay.
Can't wait: Laurieton Stingrays captain Kieren Roberts is excited about this weekend's elimination final against Lower Macleay.

LAURIETON Stingrays have probably exceeded expectations for a team in its first year.

The Hastings League new-boys aren’t content with a first finals appearance; they want to progress as far into the competition as they can.

Captain and fullback Kieren Roberts has been a key figure in building the foundation for the side.

He will provide plenty of questions for Lower Macleay in attack when the two sides meet in the elimination semi-final at Lank Bain Sports Complex on Saturday.

Roberts admitted they were confident of a good showing in the finals after qualifying in fourth position.

“Our first year in, we were looking to scrap into the semis and came fourth,” he said.

“We had a good win last week against Long Flat.”

The Stingrays skipper said belief had been a key factor in their continued improvement throughout the season.

He felt they had been building to something special.

“We had expectations to get into the semi finals,” he said.

“When we came runners up in the Bain Cup against Comboyne we thought we might have had a bit of a shot this year.

“In the last six weeks the belief over the last couple of weeks has grown,” he said.

“The local crowd have been backing us and that’s allowed us to play some good footy.”

With the loser gone for the year, Roberts was expecting another cliffhanger if the previous two encounters were any indication.

“We’ve won one and lost one against them, both by six points so it should be a good, hard game,” he said.

The winner will play the loser of the major semi-final between Kendall and Comboyne.

Roberts knows their task wouldn’t get any easier with a victory.

“We’ve got a few injuries last week which didn’t help, but hopefully we can get the win,” he said.

“Kendall and Comboyne are the top two sides in the competition so hopefully they might be a bit sore next week.”

The match kicks off at 1pm.