OXLEY Vale Attunga farewelled Tom Hungerford in the best possible fashion when 5-1 winners over North Companions in their crucial McDonald’s Premier League first grade clash at Marius Street on Saturday.
The Tim Coates-coached Mushies smashed the Men In Black in what was Hungerford’s last game.
“He’s off to the US,” Coates said on the weekend.
“ He met a girl. He’s already been over there and she’s been back here too. But it’s his last game for us. He could be back for the grand final if we make it.”
He’s not the only Mushie off overseas with Adam Watson also an imminent tourist to the Caribbean.
“Yeah we might make the grand final but mightn’t have anyone to play in it,” Coates quipped after the four-goal success.
Watson scored the final goal in that 5-1 success that took the club to within a point of second-placed North Companions on the first grade Southern Conference ladder.
While the Mushies are losing players to overseas trips, the Gavin Thompson-coached North Companions are slumping after losing two of their stars, Ben Todd and Jake Thompson, to season-ending injuries.
Thompson admitted it was impossible to lift the spirits of the side during the week leading into the OVA game and that was evident by the way they played.
North lacked enthusiasm and were second to the ball.
“OVA just wanted it more than us,” Thompson admitted.
“Losing Ben and Jake has really affected us. I tried to pep them up but we lacked enthusiasm.”
Ryan Searl’s cracking shot from range was a highlight in the match on a day where Tamworth FC also slotted five goals in a 5-nil win at Moree and Gunnedah United went even better, smacking Gunnedah Hawks 8-1 in a local derby.
“It was a big 15-goal day for us,” United coach Richard Grant said when grining through his side’s match report and goalscorers.
“And it guarantees semifinal football in both grades for us. We will be competitive too especially the way we knocked the ball around in first grade at pace.
“We really bounced out of the blocks in first grade. Evan Lee hasn’t been on the scoresheet the last few weeks and he had his hat trick inside 15 minutes . They came from good team work and build-up.
“‘Dale Roberts also hit a screamer to make it four and then Rob Pryor scored and added three more in teh second half.
“It was great timing for us, good confidence builders.
Andy Cygem might not have scored too but he had a great game and Blake Small made some greta saves to deny him too.
“Blake did play well for them too and pulled off some good saves all game.”
Up in Armidale the South Scorpions beat Demon Knights 3-nil in their local derby while North Armidale Redmen overtook Joeys FC in their Northern Conference minor premiership race with a 2-1 top of the table clash win at Phil Wheaton Oval.