Bangalow v Byron Bay derbies are always action packed and Friday night’s Summer Youth League clashes were no exception.
The Byron Wildcats put in a gritty performance but the impressive Bangalow Bluedogs took a 4–1 win.
Despite the defeat, the Byron girls again showed their rapidly developing team play and individual skills.
A breakaway goal to Salem Edwards was the highlight for the Wildcats in a very entertaining match.
The Byron side now holds sixth position in the middle of the competition table.
The Byron Boys dominated their match from the kick-off but couldn’t manage to turn their pressing game into goals.
Missing centre-back and captain James Tomlinson, attacker Sam Shepherd stepped into the defensive role while Aaron Walker led the attack.
With seven runs on the Bangalow goal in the opening minutes, a big win looked to be on the cards, but dogged defence from the Bluedogs kept the Rams in check.
Once again, the Byron midfield controlled the pitch with outstanding structure and movement.
Byron’s relentless attack failed to bear fruit until midfielder Ronan Karup was brought down on the halfway line late in the first half. Sam Shepherd’s free kick into the box sparked a goalmouth skirmish and a cracking goal to Aaron Walker.
The battle raged on, with the Rams still struggling to find the net and the Bluedogs sorties rounded up by the Byron back line. A Bangalow counterattack finally bore fruit in the second half and the 1–1 scoreline held to the final whistle.
With three rounds left to play, Byron sits on third place, and is still to play leaders Rovers and Alstonville in the final two rounds.
This week has the Byron youth on their last away game for the summer comp, taking on Italo Stars in Lismore. The girls kick off at 6pm and the boys at 8pm.