It was a welcome return to form and to the Byron ‘Rec’ Ground for the Park Hotel Byron Bay Rams when they met Ballina for round three of the 2014 FFNC Premiership on Saturday. In both Prems and Reserves, the Byron Bay boys showed that they are the force to be reckoned with in this year’s competition.
The Reserve Grade squad demonstrated their clear superiority over Ballina and the 3–1 final score was in no way indicative of the run of play. The Rams put in their best showing so far this season and goals to Steve Kirkpatrick and Tai Flanagan could easily have been followed by many more.
The Premier Division match delivered more of the same Rams dominance, but the goals flowed more freely for the top squad. The Rams hit the pitch running and had Ballina on the back foot from the kick-off. Smooth, fast and free-flowing football has become the Rams’ stock-in-trade and Saturday’s game was a very entertaining demonstration.
Opening the scoring for the Rams was Kazuhiro Tsukamoto with a gymnastic turn and strike followed by a clinical penalty from free-kick master, Connor Cannon. A goal from Ballina and another from Byron striker James Tomlinson took them into the break at 3–1The second half brought more of the same, with Byron’s attack on the Ballina goal rapid and relentless. More goals from Tsukamoto, Cannon and Michael Kelly took the final score to 7–1 but, again, it could have been much higher, with two goals disallowed and many more very close shaves.
Great games for the tireless Kazuhiro Tsukamoto, the aptly named Connor Cannon, Michael Kelly and Herick (Superman) Schuenemann and inspiring and entertaining performance from the entire squad.
The Rams go into the Easter break sharing the top of the table with Lismore Thistles and Workers.
Next match for the Rams is the Final of the 2014 Tursa Anzac Cup – a re-run of last year’s event – against old foes, Lismore Thistles.
Be at Oakes Oval by 7pm Friday, April 26 for a night of first-class football.