Words and pics Dogwhistle
The Northern Hotel Byron Bay Rams capped the club’s most successful Football Far North Coast season ever on Saturday with an outstanding grandfinal day.
The second division Pointscore champion Rams completed their premiership double with a thrilling comeback from 2–0 down to take the cup in a penalty shootout.
The Rams reserve grade champions also came from behind to make it two for two with an emphatic 4–2 win over Richmond Rovers.
Goals to man-of-the-match Kazuhiro Tsukamoto (with assistance from a Rovers defender!), Hari Scott, Sam Tomlinson and Tomás do Prado Coelho left the result in no doubt.
The Premier Division grandfinal began well for the Rams Prems, with Joel Wood getting around the keeper and putting away the early opener with an acute-angled strike.
The going got a lot tougher ten minutes in, when a harsh red-card decision gave Ben Ahern an early shower.
A ten-man Byron side was left to face a fired-up Bluedogs in an epic battle for cup honours.
The Dogs equalised midway through the second half and fought off subsequent waves of attack from a depleted but equally determined Byron side.
Both sides gave their all for the remainder of the match but, despite throwing themselves into the fray, neither managed to break the deadlock and the match went into extra time.
The intensity of the struggle repeatedly brought the large and vocal Byron Shire crowd to its feet until a flanking run from Gianluca Bongiovanni and a cross to Joel Wood produced the decider.
The well-earned win gives the Premier Rams a historic triple-header – the 2017 Anzac Cup, Pointscore Championship and the premiership grandfinal.
Go the Rams!