The Byron Bay Red Devils have narrowly missed out on the rugby league finals for 2019 after finishing in sixth place behind Tweed Heads, who went through on a better for-and-against tally.
Playing at home to the Byron side went down to the Ballina Seagulls 38–16.
The loss meant that Tweed Heads would have gone past them on the competition ladder if they could beat Cudgen. When that game ended in a 24–24 draw, both Tweed and Byron were on equal competition points.
Byron lost the battle for the last finals position as their for-and-against was 13 points behind Tweed.
The Byron side put in a big effort but didn’t have the depth across the park to hold out the minor premiers. Captain/coach Todd Carney was out through injury.
Midway through the first half Byron were in the game trailing 12–6, but Ballina was able to score twice before halftime, and then gave themselves a big buffer, with a try in the first minutes of the second half.
Byron pulled back a couple of tries, playing good attacking football. But they struggled to get their rhythm up with dropped ball and several offside penalties.
All round it was a good day for the visitors, who also won the Ladies Touch 16–0, in the Reserves 68–4 and the U/18s 30–10.