It was a tough, hard-fought contest but the Byron Magpies AFL side clinched a nail-biting 8-point victory over a determined Ballina team on Saturday afternoon.
A crowd of more than 100 were treated to a ‘nail-biter’ and the game was a case of ‘winning ugly’, Magpies ruckman Michael Young said after his side notched up a tally of 9.7.61 to the Ballina Bombers’ 7.11.53.
At three-quarter time there were just three points in the game with the Magpies leading 7.5.47 to the Bombers 6.8.44.
The match had the true intensity of finals football with both clubs showing intent, with heat in every contest right from the opening.
The game was largely a tense battle of the defences dominated proceedings.
‘The Bombers were impressive for much of the match and can consider themselves unlucky in not pulling off an upset,’ Young said.
But Byron was good enough to absorb the pressure and they found a winning edge after creating something special in the dying stages.
Goal scorers for Byron included: Kieran Atkin 3, Will McBride 3, Zeke Hower 1, Brett Porter 1, Dave Smith 1. For the Bombers S Thorsen and T Mclean kicked two goals while J Leeds, R Walton and R Fajerman got one each.
The result means the Magpies are the first side through to the 2016 AFL Northern Rivers Grand Final to be played at Cavanbah Sports Centre on Saturday 27 August.
In the other preliminary final played on the weeknd the Tweed Tigers (16.13.109) overpowerd the Lismore Swans (4.10.34).
The Ballina Bombers get a second chance to make the Grand Final when they take on Tweed Coast at Fripp Oval, Ballina, in the preliminary final on Saturday afternoon.