Story & photos Dogwhistle
Any lingering doubts about the depth of The Northern Hotel Byron Bay Rams’ talent pool were dispelled on the weekend with two emphatic victories back to back.
In a polished display of skill, professionalism and endurance, Byron’s Premiers and Premier Reserves teams outplayed their respective opposites in Goonellabah on Saturday and Lismore Workers on Sunday.
Saturday’s 10–1 goal blitz of Goonellabah began with the Rams Reserves demolishing the Hornets Reserves in a 7–1 drubbing. Steve Kirkpatrick made another hat-trick while Jordy Campbell and Tom Ruhl bagged two apiece.
The Byron boys came out firing in the Premiers match, with Tyson Kaye scoring in the fifteenth minute. The Rams dominated the midfield and, with the defence at its best under the Packham brothers, the Rams controlled the park.
James Tomlinson put away the second goal after a fine lead up by Conor Cannon. The second half was more the same with Sam Owens making it 3–0.
Sunday’s outing in Lismore against third-placed Workers produced another demonstration of the Rams’ controlled, quality football in both grades.
Rising to the challenge of one of the competition’s top squads, the Byron boys performed with style, discipline and finesse.
The Byron Reserves began their attack from the opening whistle, with a first goal to a header from Herick Schuenemann.
Steve Kirkpatrick pounced on a desperate clearance, tapping the ball into the back of the net with the outside of his foot.
Will Ennis came off the bench and quickly took the score to 3–0. Ennis closed the Byron account at 4–0 in the second half. Workers managed a consolation goal from a penalty to finish the match at 4–1.
The Premiers match looked like being more of a contest early on, with the Workers’ defending strongly against a heavy Rams attack. The Rams’ superiority began to tell by the twenty minute mark but the Workers’ defence held onto go into half time at 0–0.
A penalty early in the second half saw Tyson Kaye open the scoring. Five minutes later, James Tomlinson hustled the ball into the net from an intense goal-mouth skirmish. At the fifteen-minute mark, a penalty to Workers took the score to 2–1. A big cross from Tyson Kaye found Sam Owens outside the box.
Owens finished with a clinical strike that left the keeper gaping and took the score to 3–1.
The Workers fought back hard but Byron moved into a feeding frenzy – hammering the Workers’ goal in the closing stages.
Michael Kelly carved up the Workers’ defence with a great flanking run, crossed to James Tomlinson whose shot was deflected by the keeper. Kelly picked up the loose ball and took the final score to 4–1.
With both grades now on seven wins from seven outings, the Rams face perhaps their biggest test this Sunday when they travel to Lismore to meet last year’s Grand Final winners, Richmond Rovers.
Reserves kick off at 12.30 and the Prems at 2.30.