20.2 C
Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Byron into semis after red letter arvo against Dirrawongs

Latest News

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Other News

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Cartoon of the week – 5 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

Houses without smoke detectors very alarming

Fire & Rescue NSW is always busy and the nation-wide fires in recent years have highlighted the importance and value of our firefighters.

Get over it, Byron Baes!

Andrew Willy Wilson, Mullumbimby Are you guys for real? I can’t believe all the fuss over the proposed Byron Baes...

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Meet local firies and save lives, including your own

Meeting local firefighters and learning about home fire prevention is really important and more so in recent times and into the future.


John Campbell

This was one of those strange games that you can never quite get a handle on.

With 17 minutes to go at Lismore’s Crozier Field, and everything to play for, for both sides, Northern United had come back at Byron Bay to trail by 22-18. We might have entered heart attack territory, but when the dust had settled the Devils were in the record books as comfortable winners to the tune of 40-18. They’d be the first to concede that the victory was not so cut and dried as the score suggests.

Notwithstanding the final margin, with one round of the NRRRL minor premiership left, the two competition points have cemented a spot for the Bay in the semis.

Leading the way for the Devils was their prop, Simon ‘Canine’ Kelly, who capped a typical day’s robust work by diving over in the setting sun’s golden light to rack up a hat-trick of tries.

Byron, bugged by a number of ‘what-ifs’ threatening to sour a season that began with such promise, kicked off under a cloudless sky. ‘Work, boys! Work!’ was the last cry heard as they charged at the mob contesting fifth position on the ladder.

Three penalties in quick succession gifted United a perfect launching pad and, with their speed and array of steppers, they found a gap out wide and grabbed a 4-0 lead.

When Byron’s turn came to have a load of possession, they responded with a determined try to Bill ‘the Lawman’ Lowrie.

Ex-Rabbitoh Roy Bell then took a towering bomb and dashed 60-metres untouched through the Devils’ statuesque defence to put United in front 10-6.

Chris ‘BB’ King’s resumption found its way over the dead-ball line and from the drop-out Kelly got his first try. Soon after, second-rower Joe ‘DiMaggio’ Gordon delivered a lovely pass for centre Duane ‘Drano’ Cahill, still with the job ahead of him, to cross in the corner.

United jagged one back, but Byron went to the sheds at 18-14 and looking the more likely of the two combatants. Neither side was guilty of showing the utmost respect to the law of possession, but the Devils’ structure was always stronger. It was clear – whoever could hang onto the ball would get the money.

Winger Craig ‘Rio’ Stapleton, known for his fleetness of foot rather than his bobcat bullishness, left a graveyard of would-be tacklers in his wake in an inspiring burst that ultimately led to a try by Gordon.

United at last scored from the chip to the corner that they’d been aiming for and, at 22-18, we were down to the question of ‘who wants it most?’

Running it on the last, captain Ryan ‘the Crab’ O’Connell, back from injury and a steadying hand throughout, shot the pill out to Kelly, then Cahill, then to winger Rex ‘Harrison’ Sheavills who, with Northern asleep on the blind and careless in mopping up, sprinted around behind the sticks to give the Devils the breathing space they craved.

Kelly registered tries two and three in the closing stages and Byron were home and hosed.

Sunday sees the Bay host Ballina, who have assumed, with Murwillumbah, equal favouritism for the grand-final laurel. Get along to Red Devil Park – the boys have earned the town’s support.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op board, and Chair Ross Tucker,...

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

NOPRA has announced recipients of the theatre company’s two artist residencies.

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.