22.8 C
Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

The Bay’s vital point in Red Devil cliffhanger

Latest News

A new COVID-19 case flies into the Far North Coast

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.

Other News

Union wants mandatory vaccination across the board

Representatives of NSW prison officers say they are demanding mandatory vaccinations be adopted across the NSW justice system, with the union saying inmates who refuse the jab should face the same public health restrictions unvaccinated members of the public do.

COVID venues of concern at Evans Head and Lismore

Three new venues of concern have been added to the list of COVID-19 venues of concern following a student...

Our 5 favourite Ig Nobel Prize Winners

Upside-down rhinos, nose-clearing sex and chewing gum forensics.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 15 September, 2021

Inception – Byron Theatre’s first post-lockdown live event Cancelled twice owing to the local lockdown, Three Lords’ Inception and AV...

Is all cannabis the same? How do its variations impact us?

Are you interested in learning more about the cannabinoids you use? Researchers from Monash University are asking both smokers and non-smokers to help research the variety of cannabinoids and their impacts.

Lockdown cells

Michael Lyon, I understand you took the initiative to collaborate with neighbouring mayors in the Northern Rivers to address...

Byron winger Alex ‘Sir Frank’ Packer didn’t shirk the hard work at Red Devil Park on Sunday.
Byron winger Alex ‘Sir Frank’ Packer didn’t shirk the hard work at Red Devil Park on Sunday.

Story & photo John Campbell

Footy teams strive to make a fortress of their home ground. Playing in familiar surrounds, in front of one-eyed tragics, without having to travel far and wide, is the ideal scenario in rugby league-land.

In the NRRRL, Byron Bay’s early-season form had been counter-instinctive and, in losing all three of their opening home games, they appeared to be reducing Red Devil Park to the status of speed-bump for visiting sides.

Last Sunday afternoon changed that perception. The boys’ 24-all draw with Northern United was as courageous as it was unexpected, as hard-earned as a tad lucky – but as we all know, fortune favours the brave.  

Former Devil, Clarence ‘the Clocker’ Kelly, made it look easy in skirting the defence for the first of his three tries to put the Dirrawongs ahead 4–0. A reply from Byron’s number seven ‘Michael’ Jordan Reed, complemented by Joey ‘The General’ Gordon’s conversion put the good guys ahead, but, as it has been since Day One, the Devils, like a careless dog-handler, would find it hard to hold the lead.

Kelly scorched the cover for his second and then set up another for the Dirrawongs to take a 14–6 lead to the sheds. They were too quick in everything they did and Byron were struggling to come up with a Plan B to counter their expansive approach.

Northern eagerly awaited the continuing of the battle, but the Devils once again dawdled out from the sheds late – it’s such a sad, ‘we are losers’ look – and the story went from bad to worse when Northern notched a terrific running try in the corner to go ahead 20–6. Things were getting ugly, but a turnaround came from the most unexpected quarter.

Unsung prop, Jason ‘Buddy’ Hackett, saw a hole close to the line and would not be stopped as he surged through it. Soon after, chasing a pin-point chip from five-eighth Cam ‘Jack’ Gibson, winger Joseph ‘The Senator’ McCarthy flew low through the air like a scud missile to dive and plant the ball in the in-goal and, all of a sudden, the men in red were back in it.

Clarence Kelly’s third try – he really did give us a bath all arvo – appeared to kill Byron’s revival, and when the ref, having a brain-snap Ray Charles moment, ruled that Brad ‘Bruce’ Lees had knocked on a bomb when he clearly hadn’t – blind Freddy saw that the pill didn’t hit the turf – all seemed lost.

But you just never know with the Devils…

With the mob urging them on, they unleashed a mighty heart to take the battle to the other end of the field. The Dirrawongs were flagging and after ‘Debonair’ Scott Stapleton was dragged down just short of the line, the happy hooker Tom ‘Deano’ Martin buried his body under an avalanche of tacklers to plant the ball over the white stripe.

The onerous task of converting the try from out wide lay at the feet of Joey Gordon. He took his time over it – I could have read War And Peace while he lined the kick up… but he absolutely nailed it.

24 all is not quite a win, but the Devils are still alive. 


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Found – Have you seen Steve? Missing person

Mullumbimby man Steve Mustchin went missing at 11am this morning from Byron Bay Hospital and his family are asking locals to keep an eye out for him.

Images released of men who robbed the Byron Bowlo

Detectives investigating the armed robbery of a licensed premises in Byron Bay earlier this year, have released CCTV images and are appealing for public information that may assist their inquiries.

New Nesbitt Park mountain bike skills course in Lismore

Though Lismore is currently in lockdown, the city has inaugurated a new sporting activity in Nesbitt Park that will make residents want to enjoy outdoors as soon as possible.

New cases of COVID-19 below 1,000 for the first time in 25 days

In what is now a general press conference, the Premier spoke to media at 11am this morning about the pandemic and other business.