Story & photo Dogwhistle
Another rainy outing Lennox Head on Saturday saw the Northern Hotel Rams demonstrate their superiority with solid wins giving both Prems and Reserves an untarnished five-from-five run.
Fired up and confident after their Anzac Cup success, the Lennox Head Sharks were keen to be the first to take a point or three from the all-conquering Rams.
As the rain poured and the wind gusted, Lennox opened the scoring twenty minutes into the Reserves match with a lovely long-range shot that cleared keeper Askew’s fingertips and dipped under the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, Jordy Campbell equalised for the Rams with a clinical finish to a cross from Tom Ruhl, taking them into the break at one apiece.
Byron came out firing in the second half and took the lead five minutes in when Campbell cut back across goal to Steve Kirkpatrick who turned and finished cleanly. Ten minutes later a perfect corner from Tom Ruhl found the head of Steve Kirkpatrick and the result was sealed at 3–1.
Countless attacks and a bizarre, three-attempt penalty failed to yield more goals for the experienced Byron team.
The Byron squad was equally dominant in the Premier Division, with Alejo Villasana finishing an overwhelming attacking run with a clean header into the Lennox net just five minutes in.
The Rams made hard going of the wet and windy conditions, however, and a dogged Sharks defence kept the Byron attack at bay for the remainder of the first half.
Midway through second half Tyson Kaye leapt off the bench to fire up a flagging Byron attack, cutting through the Lennox defence with striker James Tomlinson and forcing a deflection into the net from the Sharks’ keeper.
With two goals in hand and looking like more were on the way, Byron were stung by two cheeky goals from ex-Byron boy, Byron Milne’s quick free-kick ploy.
With the Sharks back in the race, temperatures began to rise and a neatly executed penalty from Kaye put the Rams back in front.
A flanking run and a clean strike from Michael Kelly gave the Rams some breathing space, but a defensive lapse in the dying moments saw a soft strike from Lennox roll inside the back post to take the final score to 4–3 to Byron.
Perhaps a little complacency from the Rams creating more of a nail-biter than the run of play would warrant.
The Rams top-of-the-table status will face its toughest challenge this weekend with back-to-back Saturday and Sunday matches.
The Byron squad hosts Goonellabah at the Rec Ground on Saturday (Reserves at 1pm and Prems at 3pm) then travels to Lismore for a tough match-up with second placed Lismore Workers (12.30pm and 2.30pm).