Story & pics by dogwhistle
Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between pointscore leaders Lismore Thistles and the Byron Bay Services Club Rams turned out to be a surprisingly one-sided affair.
Inclement weather closed the Thistles’ homeground so the matches were switched to the Byron Bay Memorial Rec Grounds.
The Rams Reserves again set the tone, with a convincing 2–0 win over their Lismore counterparts moving them up the ladder.
The Premier Division Rams then delivered a comprehensive drubbing to the competition leaders.
Thistles had no answers for Byron’s slick, fast-paced combinations and could not break James Tomlinson’s solid backline.
With the Rams dominating from the outset, Lisandro Luaces took the first instalment of his hat-trick thirteen minutes into the contest.
Four minutes later Ben Ahern carved through Lismore midfield to deliver a sharp cross to Jono Pierce, who drove towards goal and a perfect finish to take Byron’s lead to 2–0.
Brought down in the box at the 27-minute mark, Luaces made short work of his penalty, extending the lead to 3–0.
A perfectly weighted through ball from Alby Kay put Luaces on course for an almost leisurely jog to the Lismore goal. A deft chip over the keeper made it 4–0 at half time.
Despite dialling back the intensity a little in the second half, the Rams continued to press the Thistles’ goal. A cross from Pirran Stephens set off a melee in the Thistles’ box that was decisively finished by Diego Vasquez to take Byron’s fifth.
With ten minutes left on the clock Diego Vasquez sent another ball wide to Jono Pierce, who again attacked the goal to seal the Rams’ win at 6–0.
The victory puts the Rams back on top of the table with a game in hand over second-placed Thistles.
This Saturday, the Rams host Alstonville at the Rec Grounds and hope to extend their lead into the final rounds of the competition.
Reserves kick off at 1pm.