Last year’s Major Premiership winners, the Park Hotel Byron Bay Rams, have sewn up the 2014 Football Far North Coast Premier Division minor premiership with a solid win over a valiant Goonellabah. After springing Bangalow’s offside-trap strategy and handing the ‘Dogs their biggest defeat of the season (4-1) in the previous round – the Rams enjoyed a week off before Sunday’s visit from Goonellabah.
The Rams Reserves set the tone for the day, with a powerful display that netted six impressive goals - two each to Steve Kirkpatrick and Javier Herrais and one apiece to Sam Owens and Herick Schuenemann. The win boosts the Reserves finals aspirations, giving them a five point margin over sixth placed Goonellabah and putting them in hot pursuit of fourth placed Alstonville – one point down with two rounds remaining.
In the day’s headline match, Goonellabah’s Premier division squad put in a gritty and determined performance against the reigning champs. The Byron back-line worked hard to contain a spirited attack from the Hornets and the Rams went into the break one goal up after a high-flying header from Sam McIntyre.
The second half saw the Rams a little more fired up and in control. Goals from James Tomlinson and late substitute Jonathan Pierce took the champs to a hard earned 3-0 victory.
A nine point lead with two rounds to go has secured the 2014 Minor Premiership and Damon Bell’s all-conquering Rams now have their eyes firmly fixed on finals series. A win in the Grand Final would give Byron their second consecutive Major Premiership and their first double since 2006.
Next Saturday, the Rams meet their Anzac Cup nemesis in Lismore for what promises to be another tough and fiery encounter. Reserves kick off at 1pm and the Prems at 3pm.
[mainpic] MAINPIC / James Packham and Nick Baker hold the line in the Byron defence click any image to view the full gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]