Simon Leighton crashes over for the Bangalow winning try.
Simon Leighton crashes over for the Bangalow winning try.

Bangalow win derby

Bangalow hosted Byron Bay for the coveted Crombat Trophy on Saturday prevailing 22-18 in a physical game of rugby.

Byron gained the ascendancy in the opening half against the wind, kicking two early penalties and looking more threatening.

Possession see-sawed with chances going begging. Bangalow missed a few penalties and kicked one to keep in touch.

Towards the end of the half Bangalow’s inside back Dick Collins crashed through the defence, offloading and finding the toe of loosehead prop Dan Hill who used his soccer skills to control the ball and score a converted try.

The half-time score had Bangalow up 10-6.

Byron came out in the second and scored two tries in 15 minutes through their skillful backs to put the heat back on Bangalow.

Both teams lost a player each for 10 minutes for foul play and Bangalow lost second rower Phil Paysdon to an achilles rupture.

Bangalow started to gain the upper hand through their forwards, winning the collisions and finding space behind enemy line.

New Pommy fly-half Rowan took advantage of an excellent lineout move to put Dick Collins over from 10 metres out.

Needing a try to win and time ticking away Bangalow kept applying the pressure and scored a converted try to tireless open-side breakaway Simon Leighton from a couple of metres out on the bell.

 It was a hard lesson for Byron after pushing ahead early in the second half but failing to finish the job.

This will give Bangalow the confidence they need to continue the march towards the semis. Both teams will undoubtedly play each other in the finals, but it will be a case of who can secure a home semi-final to gain the advantage.

Best for Bangalow in an all-round team effort was second row bound Dick Collins who is starting to hit his straps.

Byron remains in third position with Bangalow hot on their tails, three points behind in fourth.

This Saturday Bangalow host Mullumbimby for the first time on home soil.

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