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Byron Shire
March 21, 2023

Byron Rams reach grand final

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Young defender Harry Barlow. Photo Dogwhistle

Ross Kendall

The Byron Bay Services Club Rams are into their fourth FFNC Premier League grand final, after defeating Alstonville FC 3-2 in the semi-final.

It was a knockout final, where the second-placed Rams took on third-placed Alstonville.

With Alstonville winning the only previous meeting between these teams with a 2–1 win in round two, Byron had a score to settle and started the match in good form. Uruguayan Diego Vasquez has arguably been the best player in the league this year, and it was fitting that he was the one to open the scoring.

Coming out of the sheds, Byron built on their dominance and had doubled their lead only five minutes into the second stanza as Oliver Stautner found himself in enough space to squeeze a shot between the keeper’s legs.

Alstonville had a sniff of a comeback in the 60th minute when they scored a headed goal, but their chances of an equaliser were significantly reduced just ten minutes later.

With Vasquez running in on goal, with no defenders between him and the keeper, an Alstonville defender took him down from behind and was sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

Vasquez rubbed salt in the wound as he put the resulting free kick into the top right of the goal to give Byron a commanding 3–1 lead.

While Alstonville quickly scored again after being awarded a penalty, they could not score an equaliser, with the match finishing 3–2 to Byron Bay.

Fourth grand final 

It will be the fourth grand final in a row for Byron Bay, and their sixth in the past seven years. 

The win was the perfect way to cap off an incredible weekend for Byron Bay FC, which saw every one of their six senior men’s teams qualify for their respective grand finals, while the U16 team won the ANZAC Cup Final.

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