Backs to the front

Byron mentor Ben Ahern keeps the ‘Villa boys at bay

Byron mentor Ben Ahern keeps the ‘Villa boys at bay

Summer Youth League Round 6

Byron Bay’s SAE-Qantm Summer Youth League squad faced another wind affected challenge against ninth placed Alstonville on Friday night at the Ewingsdale grounds.

Alstonville’s winless status is not for want of trying, and the ‘Villa boys fought a dogged but fruitless battle to get points on the board.

The young Rams were a far more disciplined unit this week and handled Alstonville’s push for an early goal with confidence and assurance.

Villa did their utmost to take advantage of their first half tail-wind but their attacks broke against the rock solid Byron back line.

Young Byron keeper Griffin Bambach, backed by the formidable combination of Alex Kempnich, Zeb Branton, Harper Hain and mentor Ben Ahern, kept the wind and the Villa boys at bay.

The Rams attack battled to overcome a strong headwind and a determined Alstonville defence, but couldn’t find the net and the first half closed with a 0-0 deadlock.

The second half saw the Rams use the wind advantage and the Alstonville boys began to struggle. A penalty to Villa raised early hopes, but Rams second half keeper, veteran Lachie Baynes, read the striker’s approach perfectly and kept the Byron sheet clean.

The wind finally blowing their way, the Rams went on the offensive, with midfielder and defenders joining the attack. Defender Harper Hain broke the ice with a cracking strike and was soon joined on the scorecard by an equally impressive goal from fellow defender, Zeb Branton.

The win takes the Rams to equal second on the table with Thistles, as Lennox continue their charmed run at the top.

The final three rounds see Byron facing quality opposition from Workers (in Lismore this Friday) and at home against Thistles and Rovers in the final two rounds.

All three matches kick off at 7pm.

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