by Mark Robinson
A BLISTERING first-half performance from Byron Bay laid the platform for the Rams' first major premiership in seven years. Two goals from Sam Owens gave the Rams a 2-1 win over minor premiers Lismore Thistles in Football FNC men's premier division grand final.
The Rams attacked from the outset of Saturday night's contest with strikers James Tomlinson and Seb Bell carving holes in the Blues usually reliable defence.
It took just ten minutes before they scored their opening goal, with Bell beating his marker to dart along the byline and cross for Sam Owens to tap in at the far post.
The goal rattled Thistles and their usual cohesion went missing as they struggled to contain the waves of attacks from the Rams.
Blues custodian Brad Robertson had to make several vital saves, but just before half-time he was beaten again when Owens evaded the attention of two Thistles defenders to slip the ball past the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.
Shortly into the second half Thistles' hopes of a fightback were diminished with a red card for striker Nathan McCann.
This allowed Byron to control most of the game and while they didn't show the same attacking intent as the first half, they still played with more intensity.