RAMS CLINCH CUP
Byron Bay overcomes Oakes Oval hoodoo to get past Rovers
BYRON BAY broke its Oakes Oval hoodoo with a 2-1 win over Richmond Rovers in the Anzac Cup soccer final in Lismore on Saturday.
An Aaron Walker double sealed the result for the Rams, while Kurt Walker scored Rovers’ solitary goal.
Aaron Walker opened the scoring for Byron in the 35th minute when he stole the ball from the Rovers defence.
He streaked away and drove home a powerful shot from inside the box.
Walker doubled the Rams’ lead in the 65th minute when he found himself on the end of a long ball before deftly chipping Rovers goalkeeper Chris Jones.
Rovers pulled one back five minutes later when Kurt Walker bundled home an effort at the back post.
Aaron Walker was sent off in the 89th minute when he received a second yellow card following a collision with Jones.
But Byron Bay held on to secure just their second win from their past six finals appearances at Oakes Oval.
Striker Joel Wood was named player of the match.
Coach Damon Bell was delighted his side had managed to break through at Oakes Oval and said his team’s ability to create more chances than the opposition made the difference.
“We’d won one out of five here, now it’s two out of six, our odds just went up a bit,” he said.
“Do we have a hoodoo here? Maybe, but hopefully it’s broken now.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game. I didn’t think we played that well. We just didn’t keep possession well and our passing was off.
“We created more chances than they did; we took two out of the six or seven we had.”
Rovers coach Todd Jones was disappointed with his side’s slow start.
“We got outplayed especially in the first half; anything that could go wrong did go wrong in the first half, we just started too slowly,” he said.
Jones is confident Rovers will bounce back and benefit from consistent training following an interrupted start to the season.
“We’ll rebuild, we can consistently get to training now, which will be a good thing,” he said.
“We have to play smart football and be more calm and composed when we have the ball.”
In FNC premier league action, a Jervis Foley double led Lennox Head to a 4-1 home win over Italo Stars and Goonellabah defeated Casino 5-0 at Weston Park.
It wasn’t the prettiest game. I didn’t think we played that well (but) we created more chances than they did; we took two out of the six or seven we had.
— BYRON BAY COACH DAMON BELL
ON THE BALL: The player of the Anzac Cup soccer final, Byron Bay striker Joel Wood, shows his class against Richmond Rovers defender Dan Flynn during the Rams’ 2-1 victory at Oakes Oval, Lismore, on Saturday.
MEMORABLE WIN: Byron Bay captain Ben Ahearn accepts the Anzac Cup shield from Greg McMahon of sponsor Tursa.