Story & photo Dogwhistle
The Park Hotel Byron Bay FC Rams used their heads in overcoming a tenacious Ballina Seagulls in Round 12 of the Football Far North Coast Premier Division Championships on Saturday, with four of their five goals from headers.
No joy for the Rams Reserves, however, as this season’s finishing hoodoo continued to haunt the squad. Despite their clear superiority and some quick and decisive play, the number-two Rams again failed to take advantage of countless chances and had to settle for another disappointing draw.
If the boys don’t start finding the net soon, they may see their finals hopes evaporate.
In stark contrast, Byron’s Premier League leaders wasted no time getting points on the board. A lightning run by flanker Jonathan Pierce caught the Seagulls’ defence flat-footed.
Pierce’s pinpoint cross found the head of Kazahiro Tsukamoto and the Rams took the lead inside the first minute.
Determined not to go down without a fight, the tough Ballina side hit back with a surprise equaliser and dug in to hold the line at 1–1 into the break.
The Rams took to the field for the second session fired up and goal hungry. Totally dominating the play, Byron’s ‘ten-man attack’ shifted into gear, peppering the Ballina goal with shots from all ranges and angles.
Two headers from James Tomlinson took the Rams to a 3–1 lead and yet another header from Tsukamoto made it 4–1. A deft tap in the closing minutes gave Tomlinson a hat-trick against his old team and took the final score to 5–1.
After twelve rounds and twelve wins, the Rams sit comfortably at the top of the Premier League table with a commanding eight-point lead and an average of four-and-a-half goals per game.
Next Saturday has the Byron squad in Lismore for the season’s second match against Richmond Rovers. It promises to be a tough match, with Rovers out to avenge their first-round 8–0 drubbing.
Reserves kick off at 1pm and the Prems at 3pm.
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