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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Rams win but are not yet in the ANZAC Cup final

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Rams’ Lisandro Luaces on the charge. Photo Dogwhistle

Christian Layland 

The Byron Bay Services Club Rams got the result they needed, but have to wait on another key fixture before their spot in the ANZAC Cup final is confirmed.

Needing a big win against Lismore Thistles to put pressure on Alstonville, the Rams did the job with a 4–1 victory thanks to strikes by Diego Vasquez, Lisandro Luaces, and Yusmel Mustelier.

With top spot in group A earning a place in the cup final, Byron now sit three points above Alstonville, and have a three-goal lead in goal difference. Villa though are yet to play their final match against Richmond Rovers.

No date for the catch-up game has been set, which gives the Rams a nervous wait. But Alstonville need a four-goal victory to overtake Byron.

Last Friday night’s match did not start well for the Rams with the Thistles taking the lead within five minutes. 

The equaliser came from a cross from Diego Vasquez that forced an own goal.

It was a different story in the second half when a resurgent Byron Bay took control.

Vasquez got the ball rolling, slamming a half-volley into the net after Lisandro Luaces beat three defenders on the left side before passing to the striker.

Despite the dominance, Rams had to thank their keeper Pierce Essery for keeping them in the lead when he made some very smart saves from Thistle counter-attacks.

The big win was sealed when Yusmel Mustelier headed in and Luaces finished a one-on-one opportunity.

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