Reserves Triumph, Prems, deja vu!

Reserves Triumph, Prems, deja vu!

Last Saturday’s Football Far North Coast Premier League Grand Final turned out to be a replay of last year’s event right down to the final result!

The evening started out well for the Northern Hotel Rams, with the Reserve Grade boys taking to the muddy pitch determined to reverse 2014’s Grand Final loss to arch rival and Pointscore Champions, Richmond Rovers.

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Definitely Grinners!

Definitely Grinners!

Byron Bay FC’s dream season continues, winning the Football Far North Coast Club Championship and taking six teams through the the Grand Finals. With three wins from the four Grand Finals played so far, the club is definitely on a roll.

Our Grade 12 Cougars got the silverware ball rolling with a 3-0 win over Ballina in their Grand Final. After finishing in fourth spot on the pointscore table, the 13s Panthers battle their way to the Grand final but lucked out against Pottsville. The Grade 16 1st Division boys took out the Pointscore Championship, and completed the double with a thrilling 3-2 win over Lismore Thistles in last Saturday’s Grand Final. Our wonderful women’s Wildcats all made the finals series and our fourth Division team not only made the Grand Final, they won! The girls finished their season with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Suffolk Park.

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There’s nothing like Finals Football!

With the Northern Hotel Premier Division Rams enjoying a well earned week off, it was up to the second-placed Rams reserves to win their way through to the next round of the finals series on Sunday.

The Rams Reserves faced down third placed Lismore Thistles in a tough and physical battle that went down to the wire.

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Simply the Best

Simply the Best

Saturday’s final round of the Football Far North Coast Premier League competition saw reigning poinstcore champions, the Northern Hotel Byron Bay Rams, finish the season with a comfortable win 1-0 victory over Alstonville.

The Byron Bay squad has led the field for the entire season and finished the competition seven points clear at the top of the table.

Not so fortunate were the Reserve Grade Rams who, despite an emphatic 5-0 win over ‘Villa’s reserves, had to settle for second spot after last week’s loss to Rovers.

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Winners!

Winners!

With the Northern Hotel Byron Bay Rams’ comfortable lead eroded by a draw and an upset loss in the last two weeks, Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Richmond Rovers was billed as the ‘match of the season’.

With the Pointscore Championship on the line in both Premier and Premier Reserves divisions, the Rams were on the cusp of a history making double. Richmond Rovers, last year’s Grand Final winners were keen wrest the minor premiership title from the Rams and were in for a fight.

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More goals for the Rams!

More goals for the Rams!

The Byron Bay Rams took to the Ballina pitch on Saturday with a new sponsor and a new look for 2015. Now backed by the Hotel Great Northern, the Rams once again totally dominated coastal rivals, the Ballina Seahorses in both Premiers and Reserves. While the Reserves didn’t manage to equal the big numbers of their last meeting with Ballina, the 3-2 final score was no indication of the balance of play.

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Rams under fire

Rams under fire

Round 2 of the Anzac Cup pre-season competition saw the Byron Rams meet arch rival Lismore Thistles at the Ewingsdale grounds on Sunday, March 8.

Thistles and Rams have contested the Anzac Cup finals for the last two years and have been fairly evenly matched for the last few seasons so, despite last week’s comfortable win over Richmond Rovers, the Rams knew they were in for a tough contest.

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Win, Win in Pre-Season Opener

Win, Win in Pre-Season Opener

Byron Bay’s Under 16’s and Premier squads both scored gratifying wins against their 2014 nemeses in Sunday’s opening round of the Anzac Cup.

The 16s met the young guns from Summer Youth League winners, Lennox Head, in a fast-moving and entertaining clash at the windy Ewingsdale grounds.

Battling a strong headwind, the Byron boys looked to have the better of it in the first half, but strong counter attacks earned their southern neighbours an early goal before half time.

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Summer 6s Ram Jam

Summer 6s Ram Jam

Bangalow’s enormously popular Summer 6s tournament had its Finals this week with around 700 players taking to the fields for the culmination of ten rounds of summer football fun.

Tuesday night’s much anticipated “A” division clash between the last remaining undefeated teams, 2012 Champions, Goats and newbies, Byron Bay Blackhawks, proved to be quite a spectacle – twice! With both teams made up almost entirely of current or former Byron Bay premier division players, the contest was bound to be fast and furious.

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A Tough Break

 A gritty performance from flanker Tane Meek couldn’t break the Workers resolve

A gritty performance from flanker Tane Meek couldn’t break the Workers resolve

Summer Youth League Round 7 With round 7 of the Summer Youth League coinciding with the start of ‘Schoolies’, both the SAE-Qantm Byron Bay squad and Lismore Workers took to the pitch with skeleton crews.

The young Rams were also missing some of their older and more experienced players and while only fielding eleven, the Workers team was an older and much more experienced unit that any the Byron boys have faced so far.

Young Rams’ striker, Adam Budd, put Byron on the scoreboard in the opening minutes with a deft tap into the bottom corner.

The early goal spurred Workers into action, however, and their dominance increased throughout the game. Byron’s depleted midfield and defence struggled to contain the Workers attack. Byron managed many powerful counter attacks, but couldn’t break the Workers back line.

Byron Captain and mentor, Ben Ahern, penalised repeatedly for his tough tackling style, was eventually ordered from the field after receiving his second yellow card.

Already outgunned, the 10-man Rams team did their best to hold back the red tide but age, experience and numbers were against them. The final whistle blew on a 5-1 scoreline despite a valiant effort from the Rams against a polished display from Lismore Workers.

Round 8 sees The Rams at home against traditional rival, Lismore Thistles. Round 7 upsets have seen Richmond Rovers and Bangalow bump Byron and Thistles out of their equal second spot so this weeks match will see them battling for 4th spot on the ladder.

Be at the Ewingsdale ground for a 7pm kick-off and cheer our lads on.

view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative

Doing it the hard way

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Summer Youth League Round 5 Byron Bay’s SAE-Qantm Summer Youth League squad got off to a shakey start against Ballina at Alstonville on friday night.

The young Rams started strong but an unexpected early goal from the bottom of the table challengers spooked the Byron boys into some uncharacteristically scrappy play.

A series of pointless runs and desperately optimistic long-range shots from the Rams only served to lift the confidence of the Ballina underdogs.

The Byron boys spent much of the first half on the attack but, with little sign of their usual discipline and structure, opportunities were squandered and an upset looked imminent.

Clearly rattled, Byron went into the half time break one goal down.

Some well chosen well chosen half-time words from mentors John Bradbury and Ben Ahern seemed to do the trick, however, and the Rams took to the paddock for the second half with more focus and control. Byron’s youngsters led the recovery, with a breaking run and pinpoint cross from Adam Budd finding the boot of young Zak Sezer. A clean drive from the tiny striker putting the Rams equaliser away.

Confidence somewhat restored, the Byron boys regained their composure and settled into a more familiar, fast and smooth attacking game. Knocking the ball around freely and sweeping from flank to flank, the Rams totally overwhelmed the Ballina midfield and defence and left the keeper scrambling. Cool finishes from SYL veterans George Martin and Tane Meek sealed the Rams 3-1 win and moved them to third spot on the table behind Thistles and Lennox Head.

This week has the Byron lads hosting Alstonville at the Ewingsdale fields in Round 6 of the Championship.

Kick-off is at 6.30.

[mainpic]MAINPIC / Fourteen-year-old Zac Sezer opened the account for Byron with a confident finish click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]

Blown Away

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Summer Youth League Round 4 Howling winds and some highly contentious decisions played a major role in Friday night’s 1-1 draw between the SAE-Quantm Byron Bay Youth League squad and the Bangalow boys.

The Bangalow/Byron derby is always a tight and hard-fought contest and this round of the Summer Youth League comp was no exception.

The battle seemed fairly even from the outset, with both sides contending as much with the blustery crosswinds as with each other. Bangalow’s aggressive midfield push was met with an equally determined defence from Alex Kempnich, Tai Bui and Benny Ahern and powerful counter-attacks from Rams’ flankers Tane Meek and Byron Milne.

Bangalow’s relentless pressure and some goal mouth confusion saw the Rams concede a first half goal against the run of play. The goal gave the ‘Dogs a lift and the game see-sawed from end to end well into the second half.

The exhausting pace eventually began to tell and Bangalow’s trademark offside trap became harder to sustain against the young Rams speed and intensity.

Byron Milne finally found the net to equalise and the pressure wound up a notch for both sides.

Offside calls stymied three one-on-one goal chances for the Rams late in the match and the final whistle blew with the score deadlocked at 1-1.

[mainpic]MAINPIC Bangalow Captain/Coach Joel Rudgley takes a ‘hands-on’ approach to containing Byron Milne’s attack click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]

Youngsters on the rise

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Summer Youth League Round 3 The young ‘up-and-ccomers’ of the SAE-Quantm Byron Bay Summer Youth League squad came into their own in round three of this year’s youth competition.

Coach John Bradbury has given the debutantes a great run in key positions this year and the youngsters have risen to the challenge.

With support from veterans, Byron Milne, Tane Meek, George Martin and Nathan Burvill, the younger boys really made their mark on Friday’s clash with the Woodburn side.

Adam Budd opened the scoring, tapping in a sharp cut-back from Byron Milne, while Ronan Karup hustled the ball into the net in a goal mouth skirmish then followed up with a drive from the 18 yard box to take Byron’s goal tally to three. Woodburn managed one goal in reply, but the young Rams were clearly a cut above the visitors.

The 3-1 win takes Byron to third on the ladder, with some tough matches to come.

This week’s round sees Byron take on Bangalow, in Bangalow, with a 6.30pm kick off. The Byron derby always produces entertaining football so be there to support our young chargers.

[mainpic]MAINPIC / Byron’s Byron Milne in the fly click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]

They’ve done it again!

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Damon Bell’s Park Hotel Byron Bay Rams have, for the second year running, battled their way into the Grand Finals of both the Premier and Premier Reserves Division. In a week of powerful and entertaining football the Premier Rams confirmed their dominance of the division and secured their Grand Final spot with a thumping 4-1 win over second placed Richmond Rovers at the Rec Grounds on Tuesday night. Despite some dangerous counter-attacks from a spirited Rovers, the result never looked to be in doubt.

The Rams attack set up camp in the Rovers half an hammered the Rovers defenders for much of the game. A free-kick won on one of Rovers’ forays into Byron territory put the Lismore squad on the board, but they were no match for the Rams slick, fast and relentless attacking game.

A diving header from Kazuhiro Tsukamoto opened the account for Byron. A neat tap in from James Tomlinson made it two and an exquisite long-ranger from Conner Cannon and a header from Herick Schuenemann cemented Grand Final favouritism for the Rams.

After finishing fifth in the pointscore competition, the Rams Reserves had to beat the fourth, third and second placed squads (three games in nine days!) to make it to their Grand Final. The Reserves have had a mixed season, with a run of six draws seeing a quality side struggle to reach the finals. Having made the cut, however, the Ressies have hit their straps and, in some spectacular performances, have fought their way through.

Saturday September 5 saw the second string Rams take a convincing 3-0 win over 4th placed Lismore Thistles and, the following Wednesday night, completely dominate their Semi against Alstonville to come away with a 1-0 win. On Saturday, the 14th, the Rams travelled to a very hot Lismore to take on second placed Lismore Workers. Byron seemed to have the edge over a tough and determined Workers but as the contest swung from end to end, neither squad managed to find the net.

After ninety gruelling minutes, the match was still locked at 0-0. Twenty minutes of extra time failed to break the impasse and the match went to a penalty shoot-out.

As the crowd and players held their collective breath, player after player stepped up to face the keepers. A miss from each side had the crowd on tenterhooks but a suburb save from stand-in keeper Damien Smith gave Byron the edge. The winning goal was slotted home by defender Theo Pavil to take the Rams through to a hard won Grand Final spot.

With the Premier Rovers having won their second-chance semi against Workers, the season finale will be Byron Bay-V-Richmond Rovers in both divisions.

The Grand Finals will be played at Oakes Oval in Lismore next Saturday (September 20) with the Reserves kick-off at 4.15 and the Premier League at 7pm.

Be there for what promises to be the best football of the season!

[mainpic] MAINPIC / Keeper Damien Smith saves the day for the Rams Reserves! click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]