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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Third Time Unlucky!

Anzac Cup Final 2014 The rivalry between the Park Hotel Rams and Lismore Thistles continued with a re-run of last year's Anzac Cup final at Lismore's Oakes Oval on Friday night.

It was Byron's third Anzac Cup final in as many years, and Damon Bell's Rams were determined to take home the pre-season Championship silverware for 2014.

From the outset, the region's top squads looked evenly matched and the big crowd was in for an entertaining evening, with plenty of fiery midfield action, powerful attacking and gritty defence on both sides.

Thistles opened the score early with defender Max Hospers flying high to take a header from a long range throw. Another header from Jason Woolett shortly after gave Thistles an early 2-0 lead.

Rams striker James Tomlinson's relentless attacks on the Thistles goal were thwarted by tough tackling from Man-of-the-Match, Hospers, while the Packham brothers held the Byron line for the remainder of the second half.

Rams' substitute Barry Wood put Byron back in the game with a tidy finish to a cross from Michael Kelly taking them into the break at 2-1.

The second half saw an epic battle for the midfield battle with both sides fighting hard for the upper hand. The struggle saw some tough defending and busy keepers at both ends of the park. Despite tireless performances from James Tomlinson, Herick Schuenneman, Kazuhiro Tsukamoto and a gutsy effort from the entire Byron squad, the Rams couldn't crack the Lismore defence to find the equaliser. A penalty gave Thistles a 3-1 lead that they defended solidly through the remaining 15 minutes.

Another tough final, another bridesmaid finish for the Rams and a taste of what looks like being the battle for this year's Premiership honours.

The next round of the regular season has the Rams facing up to another Lismore rival, Richmond Rovers, at home on May 3.

Reserves take to the pitch at 1pm and the prems at 3pm.

[mainpic]            click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative [/mainpic]

All over red Rovers …


Anzac Cup 2014 Semi – Byron Bay Rams V Rovers The Park Hotel Byron Bay Rams showed their growing strength with a convincing 3-0 win in the 2014 Anzac Cup semifinal at the Ewingsdale on Sunday.

One of the competition’s powerhouse teams, Lismore’s Richmond Rovers were no match for the blossoming Byron squad. The fast-paced match began fairly evenly, with attack and counter attack swinging the action from one end to the other. The Rams back four held fast against the Rovers strikers and Byron quickly gained the upper hand.

A cracking 30m goal from new Byron mid-fielder, Sam McIntyre off the clearance from a corner saw the Rams begin to assert their dominance. Sam Owens finished a handy combination from Tane Meek and Jono Pierce to take the score to 2-0 at half-time.

The second half saw Byron turn up the heat another notch. A superb long-range strike from Michael Kelly sealed the 3-0 Byron victory. With plenty of depth on the bench and strength on the pitch, the Rams hammered the Rovers goal right up the final whistle.

With four competition matches under their belt, the Rams are beginning to perform as a very impressive unit. Byron will be fired up to take home the silverware in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final against Thistles on Anzac day.

The Rams FFNC Premiership campaign kicks off at the Byron Recreation Ground this Saturday against league newcomers, Tintenbar. Reserves kick off at 1pm and the Premier division at 3pm.

[mainpic] MAINPIC / Sam McIntyre open the scoring for the Rams with an unstoppable long-range strike click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative [/mainpic]

Rams into the Semis


Anzac Cup Round 3 Rams -V- Goonellabah The Park Hotel Byron Bay Rams cemented their place in thIs year’s Anzac Cup Semi finals with a decisive 7-1 win over Goonellabah at Ewingsdale on Sunday.

The Rams totally dominated the Hornets and, with a howling tailwind, put way 5 goals before the halftime break.

The wind eased a little for the second half and, despite letting quite a few opportunities go begging, Byron managed to put two more into the net before the final whistle. James Tomlinson once again wreaked havoc among the opposition defence, taking two goals for himself in the process. Connor Cannon repeated his efforts of last week with another two, and a goal apiece for Dakota Dixon-King, Sam McIntyre and Michael Kelly sealed the Hornets fate.

The Byron back four are looking strong and settling in as a very cohesive unit. Outstanding work from Sam McIntyre and James Tomlinson, Herick Schuenemann and Kazuhiro Tsukamoto helped Byron to a very comfortable win.

[mainpic]            MAINPIC / Kazuhiro Tsukamoto gets busy among the Goonellabah defenders click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative [/mainpic]

Too Fast Too Furious

Anzac Cup Round 2: Rams -V- Bangalow Its always a fast, fiery and physical clash when Byron’s Park Hotel Rams meet their Bangalow rivals in a local derby. Sunday’s 2nd round of the 2014 Anzac Cup in Bangalow was no exception.

The Bluedogs seemed particularly fired up for this match and took the fight right up to the Rams from the kick-off.

Bangalow opened the scoring in the second half and, with confidence boosted, kept hammering the Byron defence.

Byron fought back strongly as the new Rams lineup began to find its rhythm and flow. An equaliser from Kazuhiro Tsukamoto took some of the wind out of Bangalow’s sails as Byron piled on the pressure.

Numerous warnings, a couple of yellow cards and, finally, a red were testament to Banglow’s frustration and, as they began to growl at each other, the Bluedogs game began to disintegrate.

The Rams were quick to pounce on the Dogs’ disunity and, despite plenty of missed opportunities, managed another two goals from recruit Connor Cannon and one from another new boy, Dakota Dixon-King.

Byron kept up the heat right to the whistle and the final 4-1 scoreline could have been much worse for the Bluedogs.

After a couple of trials and two competitive rounds, the Rams are beginning to gel as a cohesive unit and look promising for the coming season. Players new and old worked well together with great performances from Shaun Packham, Herick Schuenemann, Tane Meek, George Martin and Connor Cannon.

[mainpic]            click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative [/mainpic]

The Pendulum swings


Anzac Cup Round 1 Last season’s Grand Final winners, Byron Bay met arch-rivals Lismore Thistles, for the first round of the 2014 Anzac Cup last Friday night.

It was the first official outing for the Rams at the new Ewingsdale grounds and Byron’s line-up was as fresh as the pitch. After taking out the Grand Final in 2013, Byron has seen a lot of players move on and as many talented new players arrive. Familiar faces Kazuhiro Tsukamoto and Byron stalwart John Bradbury have rejoined the stayers from last year and some talented new arrivals in what looks like being a force to be reckoned with in 2014.

Friday night’s match was very much a trial for the new look squad and, even in its relatively raw state, the Rams provided some stiff competition for the much more resolved Thistles squad.

The match swung from one end of the new pitch to the other with strong, fast paced attacking from both sides. The teams were evenly matched for the first half, however, Thistles did manage to convert two opportunities to take the lead into the break.

Thistles took to the park for the second half with renewed confidence and vigour while the Rams dug in and fought back hard. Despite plenty of aggressive attack and counter attack, neither side managed to find the net before the final whistle.

This Sunday, March 9, the Rams head to Bangalow for another tough clash with the Bluedogs. The Byron derby always delivers fiery and entertaining football so be there a for a 4.30 kick-off and enjoy the fun.

[mainpic]        MAINPIC / Byron’s James Tomlinson in another heard fought clash with arch-rivals Lismore Thistles at the Ewingsdale grounds / click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]