The Byron Rams wrapped up a place in the Premier League Football Semi Finals several weeks ago. So Saturday’s game against the classy top of the table Lismore Workers squad was in some ways a trial run for the finals. While the 2-1 win to Workers was a little irrelevant on the competition table the excitement of the game between these two fantastically talented teams overshadowed the end score line. Rams Coach Peter Ware was philosophical about the match “today’s game is about trying new tactics, shapes, formations and patterns. Both teams have great respect for each other and will be testing one another and practicing for the finals series” he said. It was exciting end to end entertainment right from the kick off with both teams making inspired attacks on their opposition goals. Rams keeper Pierce Essery was in fine form saving some cracker shots. The Rams seemed to have the upper hand until with 4 minutes of the first half to go Workers’ stalwart Bill Latimer slammed their first goal home from a pin point corner kick to the back post. Just 3 minutes later Paddy Cable doubled the score when a momentary lapse in the Ram’s defensive concentration allowed him to tap in an easy loose ball.
The Rams went into the 2nd half with more purpose and a different strategy and again looked the stronger side. The large crowd had a treat with beautiful ball play from both teams. The Rams backline was tight as a drum and the Workers attacking force had no answer this time. At the 65 minute mark Byron’s Sam Robson was up for a ball and “taken out” in the air in the box. The referee called a penalty and Aaron Richter Steers coolly put it in the bottom right of the net. The goal put a new fight into the collective bellies of the Rams and they all played with even more purpose now. However the Workers Redmen thwarted each attack.
The score remained at 2-1 for the remainder of the game. A Rams win could have been equally on the cards however everyone seemed strangely satisfied with the result. The Rams will prepare in earnest for the finals series now and that’s where a few sheep stations will be won and lost. Semi finals football always seems to remind me of that famous quote by Bill Shankley “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that”.