it just became a cliffhanger!


Nolan Pierce gets a shot away ... [© Dogwhistle Creative]

The Stars were definitely aligned for the underdogs in Friday night's Summer Youth League round and the consequent upses have thrown the 2012 Championship wide open.

A win for for the SAE Institute Byron squad would have seen the young Rams a step closer to a third consecutive championship, but a beautifully bent free kick from Italo Stars and an unfortunate own goal from Byron managed to upend the whole competition.

Tane Meek with another header ... [© Dogwhistle Creative]

The Byron boys fought back hard but in a fast and at times physical struggle, the Byron boys could not break through the stolid Stars defence.

A goal from late sub James Preston put Byron on the board, but the score remained stuck at Italo 2, Byron 1 right to the whistle.

(l-r) Ben Butler, Sequoia Rawson-Smith and Zeb Branton get some air ... [© Dogwhistle Creative]

Byron's only loss this season could have meant the end of their Championship hopes, but a simultaneous upset over at Crozier Oval saw rivals Lismore Workers go down 4-1 to a determined Alstonville squad.

With Byron and Workers both getting their first taste of defeat, the competition has suddenly heated up, with four teams now in contention for the title.

Byron must beat Lismore's very tough Thistles squad on Friday to take the title.

Workers, on 15 points, are 1 point ahead of Byron but have a bye in the final round. Alstonville and Rovers are close behind on 13 points each and both go into their final round matches as strong favourites.

Should Byron draw or lose, the title may be decided on goal difference!

words and photos by Greg Meek

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Byron Bay v Lismore Thistles 6:30pm, Friday 30 November, Byron Bay Rec Grounds