Saturday September 14 was a great day for Byron Bay Football, with both the Premiers and the Premier Reserves fighting their way through to the 2013 Grand Finals. The Reserve Grade match was a cracker, with both sides firing from the first whistle. The Byron boys were keen to make their first Grand Final in many years, and Rovers were defending a 10 year record of back to back Gand Finals.
There were lots of attacking moves from both sides, with Byron taking advantage of a strong wind to keep play in the Rovers half for much of the first session.
Early shots from Sequoya Rawson-Smith, Mark Greenslade and Nolan Pierce were unlucky to find their mark and lots of great runs from Pierce, Tane Meek and Rawson-Smith made life difficult for the Rovers defence.
Rovers were unlucky not to score early in the second half, but once again, outstanding saves from Lachie Baynes kept Byron in the game.
[mainpic]click any image to view the full Reserve Grade gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]
The relentless Byron attack finally bore fruit when a rebound fell to the feet of Squoya Rawson-Smith whose deft finish sealed the match and a place in the Grand Final for the Byron Reserves. Jubilation in the Rams camp fuelled a fiery start to the Byron Premier Squad's match with last year's Grand Final winners, Lismore Workers. Workers have beaten Byron in each of the last three rounds but, this time out, the Redmen were no mactch for the speed and power of the polished Rams squad.
James Tomlinson, revelling in his new role up front, wreaked havoc in the Workers defence, picking up a low header in a goal mouth skirmish to take Byron to a 1-0 lead at half time. The second half brought more pressure and more slick football from the Rams, with Herick Schuenemann flying high to take a sweeping cross and drive a brilliant header into the back of the net.
Wayne Mortimer rallied Workers' hopes with a tapped in goal from another goalmouth skirmish but some fingertip saves from PIerce Essery made sure they went no further. A through ball from Seb Bell and a clinical finish from James Tomlinson took the final result to Byron 3, Workers 1.
[mainpic]MAIN PIC / Revelling in his new role as striker, James Tomlinson wreaks havoc among the Workers defence to put away two goals and take Byron to its first Grand Final since 2006 click any image to view the full Premier Grade gallery / all images © Dogwhistle Creative[/mainpic]