Another hard-fought hat-trick for Byron Striker Aaron Walker against Lismore Thistles.
Story & photo Dogwhistle
With twelve players out from the Premier squad, the Northern Hotel Rams’ formidable depth has seen quality players step up across the senior grades to continue the Rams’ dominance in both Premier divisions.
Last Tuesday night in Lismore, the Reserve grade comfortably dominated Italo Stars to take out a 4–0 win.
The Premier Division had a shakier start, struggling to find the net despite many runs on the goal. Italo Stars upset the plan by scoring first on a strong counterattack. Byron responded but went into the break on an uncomfortable 1–1 after a last-minute scramble from Aaron Walker.
The Rams came out with all guns blazing and quickly establish their dominance over the bottom of the table Stars.
Goals to Sam Shepherd, Thiago Priori, Alex Kempnich and two more to Aaron Walker in the second half cemented a 6–1 win.
Sunday afternoon saw the Rams back in action against Lismore Thistles on the Southern Cross Football Centre’s artifical pitch.
The Reserves once again set the pace with an emphatic 6–0 thumping of the Lismore challengers. Two goals each to Will Ennis and Sam Tomlinson and one apiece to Sam Durkin and Yarbirri Zellig Vandyke sealed the win.
The Premier Division boys burned rubber from the opening whistle, with Sam Shepherd stretching to tap in the opener 14 minutes in. Another cross from Thiago Priori put Aaron Walker on the spot ten minutes later to make it 2–0. Thistles fought back hard and were rewarded with an equaliser 25 minutes into the first half, giving some hope to the Blues at 2–1.
Twenty-nine minutes in, Thistles’ hopes were dashed when a Sammy Owens’ cross was finished by Aaron Walker to take the score to 3–0.
A slick finish to another one-touch passing drill saw Joel Wood take the match into the break with the Rams up 4–0.
Despite some strong counter-moves from Thistles, the onslaught continued into the second half. Joel Wood snapped a cross to Aaron Walker who took his hat trick. More slick rapid-fire moves from the Rams’ attack saw Sam Shepherd hurdle the dogged Thistles’ defenders to drive home his second and the Rams’ sixth for the day. With both sides visibly tiring on the synthetic pitch, Byron kept up the pressure on the Thistles’ goal. With 10 minutes on the clock, a Byron corner sparked another pinball session around the box that finished with a sharp drive into the Thistles’ net from Jono Pierce.
Finally, Will Ennis came off the bench late in the match to drive home a spectacular volley and finish the match with an 8–1 victory for the Rams.