Story & photo Dogwhistle
Always a high intensity affair, Saturday’s first round clash between the Great Northern Byron Bay Rams and neighbours Bangalow Bluedogs was no exception.
While the Rams’ quality is evident, the passion and drive of the newly reformed Bangalow squad had Byron unexpectedly on the back-foot from the whistle. The Byron squad is yet to realise its potential and at times seems a little less than the sum of its parts.
Bangalow opened the scoring two minutes in and piled the pressure on the reigning Minor Premiers. The Rams quickly regained their composure but it was clear that this would be no one-sided match.
Twenty minutes into the first half,Lachie Dewar combined with Tyson Kaye to break through the Bluedog’s defence and a deft touch from Kaye chipped the keeper to equalise.
Seven minutes later, another chip from Dewar found the high-flying head of Kaye to give Byron a slender lead.
Early in the second half, Aaron Walker continued his personal goal scoring run, breaking through the ‘Dog’s backline to again chip the keeper and give the Rams a more comfortable 3-1 lead. The breathing space was short-lived, however as Bangalow countered strongly and scored again five minutes later.
Fired up and eager to prove themselves the Bluedogs fought hard for the remainder of the match and gave the Rams more than a few scares.
The fast paced attack and counter-attack from both sides kept the vocal crowd entertained and several contentious goal decisions had them on their feet.
The final whistle sounded on another fiery and physical match with a 3-2 win to the Rams.
The Byron boys head down to Lennox Head for round 2 on Friday night, with the Reserves kicking off at 6pm and the Prems at 8pm.