The Northern Hotel Byron Bay Rams turned up the heat in their run to the finals with a convincing win over Casino Cobras at the Rec Grounds on Sunday.
The Reserve Rams annihilated their visiting challengers with another double-figures result (their third this season) taking their goal tally to 77 for the year.
The young Casino boys managed to frustrate the Rams attack for much of the first half, but the relentless pressure finally bore fruit around the thirty-minute mark with a tap in from a George Martin cross by Will Ennis. Five minutes later, a flanking run from Ronan Karup and a cross to Tomas Do Prado Coelho made it 2–0.
The floodgates opened five minutes into the second half with two goals to new signing Juan, two apiece to Ronan Karup, Damien and Will Ennis, another two to Tomas. An own goal took the final score to a massive 11–0.
Only a courageous display from the 15-year-old Casino keeper kept the scoreline below twenty as the Rams ran riot through the Cobras’ midfield and defence.
Despite dominating the headline match of the day, the Premier League Rams couldn’t find the net with the same decisive alacrity.
Midfielder Lachlie Dewar drove a powerful attack from the outset but the Cobras’ defence held out the Rams until the twenty-sixth minute when Aaron Walker ran down a through ball and finished cleanly to open the scoring.
Casino fought back tenaciously for the remainder of the first session. Byron created many opportunities but failed to deliver until well into the second half when a long diagonal cross from Nolan Pierce found Walker in the box for goal two. Moments later, after some howlers from the Byron attack, Aaron Walker broke through the defence with a trademark run and completed his hat-trick. Finally, a last minute combination saw Walker lay off to George Martin who finished cleanly to round out the score to a comfortable 4–0.
Once again, the young Casino keeper held back the tide with some outstanding saves against overwhelming odds.
The Rams enjoy a Splendour break this weekend, returning to their home ground to take on Italo Stars on Sunday, June 31.
The race for the Minor Premierships is tight, with the Reserves sharing top spot on the ladder with a 25-point goal difference from the Richmond Rovers while the Premiers team share second place on the table with Rovers, four points behind Goonellabah.
The final four rounds are bound to produce some exciting football.