Bangalow 19 v Byron Bay 12
Bangalow travelled ‘down the hill’ to lock horns with the Bay last Saturday, playing for the annual ‘Crombat’ trophy.
In the first round the game ended in a draw in the mud ‘up the hill’, so there was everything to play for in this local derby.
Byron came into the game as heavy underdogs, being close to bottom of the table, but on paper this was going to be no easy ride for the Bangalow boys.
Byron claimed the first points with a well-worked play through the backs.
Bangalow tried to get back in it but a combination of solid defence and poor ball control saw good field position go to waste.
Finally winger Brad Peat crossed off a set play to level the scores at seven-all.
With Byron playing with the wind, they needed more points and it came off yet another Bangalow mistake, with their slick fly-half jumping on a loose ball after a good chase to take the scores to 12-7 going into half-time.
With the wind in the second half Bangalow needed to play field position, build possession and limit their mistakes.
Coach Simon Balcon laid down the law and the team responded. Dick Collins came on at outside centre for Bangalow and ran a great line of a set play to crash over under the posts for a converted try to get Bangalow on top.
This seemed to inspire the boys and they continued to dominate proceedings. Collins crossed over again in the corner off a nice cut-out ball from Dan Hill.
With 10 minutes to go Byron lifted knowing that a converted try would level the scores. Bangalow defused countless try-scoring opportunities and went close to scoring a few more themselves in a fast and furious closing to the game.
The game ended at 19-12 in what was a great contest, played in the right spirit on and off the field.
Bangalow points went to Dan Hill 1, Richard Kelly 2, and Brad Peat 3 points and player’s player in another commanding display.
This Saturday Bangalow plays the Mullumbimby Moonshiners in yet another local derby at the Brunswick sports fields at 2pm.
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