The Byron Rams are the toast of the Far North Coast after defeating South Lismore in the premier league grand final 2-0.
Goals from Lisandro Luaces and Diego Vasquez were enough to see off pointscore champions South Lismore and exact revenge for their 2019 grand final loss against the same opposition.
The match began in typical grand final fashion with both teams sizing each other up in a cagey first half with Souths losing their captain, Patrick Cable, to a knee injury after an attempted tackle on the Rams captain, Ben Butler.
There were limited opportunities in the opening half and it was no surprise when the teams went into the sheds at 0-0.
But the second half was a different story completely with Byron Bay coming out with a point to prove; dominating possession and field position and beginning to create genuine goal scoring opportunities.
South Lismore did well to hold on, with Byron failing to convert several opportunities before a moment of brilliance opened the scoring.
A clever back-heel from Vasquez found Luaces in just enough space to launch a shot from just inside the box; his effort from a distance clipping the bottom of the crossbar en route to the back of the net. 1-0 to Byron!
Then in the 87th minute, latching onto a long pass, the dangerous Luaces was one-on-one with the Souths goalkeeper. A defender put in the tackle and was red carded. 2020 Golden Boot, Vasquez, stepped up and converted the penalty.
The 2-0 win was a deserved result for the most attacking team on the Far North Coast, coached by Belinda Wilson, the region’s first female head coach of a men’s premier league side.
It’s the sixth time that Byron Bay has won the Cyril Mayo Cup.
Women fouled by paperwork
Byron Bay FC’s women’s premiership team, The Spell & The Gypsy Wildcats, were due to play in their own grand final, but were disqualified after a paperwork error, according to a club representative.
Lennox Head took their spot in the grand final and won 2-1 against Alstonville.