The Byron Bay Wildcats and Rams youth teams met their Mullumbimby/Brunswick counterparts under very dim lights in round three of the Football Far North Coast Summer Youth League on Friday night.
Wildcats opened the local derby strongly, leading twice before settling for a 2–2 draw.
The young Byron girls are developing rapidly and their teamwork produced some terrific scoring opportunities.
Sarah White opened with a deep run into the Mullumbimby box and a powerful shot into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Wildcats continued to create chances but were unable to capitalise again into half time.
The second half saw the Wildcats play willingly but without the intensity of the first half and the Mullum girls soon equalised.
Right back, Sarita Burgess, made an exceptional run down the right flank to hit a fantastic goal over the keeper’s outstretched hands to put Byron back in the lead.
Mullumbimby again fought back and finally equalised late in the match to force the draw.
The young Byron Rams just managed to translate their abundant talent into scoreboard success.
They started strongly, pressing hard from the opening whistle and, eight minutes in, Mori Kone was brought down in the box and his clean penalty strike gave the Rams an early lead.
Byron seemed to go off the boil late in the half and Mullumbimby took full advantage – equalising in the 28th minute.
The goal stung the Rams into action and, despite strong defence and counterattacks from their hosts, the Byron boys hammered the Mullum goal repeatedly for the remainder of the match.
A combination of atrocious luck and some great keeping kept the score locked at 1–1 right down to the wire.
Ronan Karup made a flanking run in the final minute and buried a slick drive to secure a hard-fought 2–1 win for the Rams.
Round four of the SYL has the Wildcats and Rams at home at the Rec Grounds this Friday night against Goonellabah. The girls kick off at 6.30pm and the boys at 8pm.