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.
With a line-up that included some of the region’s top players, and some big results in the lead-up rounds, Blackhawks went into match firm favourites. The clash was originally scheduled for the previous Thursday but all games were called off after a thunderstorm made playing too risky. The gods were smiling on the Goats, however, as Blackhawks were ahead 2-0 when play was abandoned. The false start gave the Goats a preview of the Blackhawks game plan and a more determined and better prepared squad took to the field for the rescheduled match on Tuesday.
Starting without three key players and with ‘reserve’ keeper Layton Barton in goals, the Goats played well and held their own against the all-star Blackhawks line-up. Powerful attacking and solid defence from both sides saw the half time whistle blow on a 0-0 score. The late arrival of Tane Meek and Nathan Burvill tipped the scales in favour of the Goats and, in the second half, the Blackhawks found themselves under serious pressure for the first time in the tournament.
The deadlock was broken when Goat George Martin crept behind the ‘Hawks defenders and put the lightest of touches on a long range free kick from Toby Barton. The deflection was just enough to put the ball over Blackhawks’ Keeper Chris Jones’ fingertips and give the Goats a 1-0 lead.
Moments later, a through-ball from Tane Meek put Byron Milne into a one-on-one with Jones and the Goats took their lead to 2-0.
With reputations on the line the Blackhawks fought back hard but clever and courageous 'keeping from Layton Barton and calm and cool defence from brother Toby, Nathan Burvill and Cody McGrath kept the ‘Hawks scoreless.
As the clock ticked, frustration began to tell and a late tackle on Milne put ‘keeper Jones in the sin-bin with a yellow card. Milne played the resulting free kick back to Meek who buried the ball in the ‘Hawk’s net.
Three - nil up and, with just minutes to go, a long range drive from Sequoya Rawson-Smith sealed the Goats’ emphatic – and spectacular – 4-0 victory.
The Goats now face Ocean Shores outfit, Brown Snakes, in the Grand final.
Story and pics by Dogwhistle
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