Byron brings home double silverware
BYRON Bay Football Club's Rails Hotel Wildcats capped an outstanding pre-season run taking home the B Division Callan McMillan silverware for the second year running with a win in Friday night's final in Lismore.
After dominating throughout the competition, the Wildcats overcame Mullumbimby/Bruswick Valley with a hard fought 2-0 win in the final.
The Wildcats had the measure of their neighbours early, with Soo Young Moon and Danni Rowland unleashing powerful shots against the Mullumbimby keeper.
Pressure from the Byron midfield sent striker, Olivia King, through to score two goals in the first half.
Sound defence from Melissa Bradshaw and Grace Pattison ensured that Mullumbimby didn't strike back but an equally tenacious Mullumbimby defence held the Wildcats to a 2-0 scoreline in the second half.
Soo Yung Moon, was awarded the most valuable player.
The Wildcats look forward to another strong showing in this year's championships and offer huge thanks to generous sponsors, the Rails Hotel and Spell and The Gypsy Collective.
The Northern Hotel Rams also took home the pre-season honours with a convincing win over arch-rivals Richmond Rovers in the Anzac Cup Premier Division final on Saturday.
Veterans of many finals clashes, both sides took to the Oakes Oval pitch determined to take home the Cup and set the tone for the 2017 season.
Byron had the best of the play for much of the match, with plenty of dangerous counter attacks from Rovers that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
The fast-paced to-and-fro tested the fitness of both sides with Aaron Walker finally breaking the deadlock at the 40-minute mark to take the Rams into the break 1-0 up.
Rovers came out firing again in the second half putting pressure on the Rams defenders and meeting Byron's pressing game with quick counter attacks.
A second goal to Walker 20 minutes in lit a fire under Rovers who clawed back a goal at the midway mark in the second half. The Rams backline held firm and kept Rovers on the back foot.
Joel Woodwas rewarded with the officials' man of the match. Midfielders Herick Schuenemann, Gianluca Bongiovanni and Quinn McDonald controlled the midfield, Harper Hain, Simon McCarthy, keeper Griffin Bambach and captain Ben Ahern kept Rovers attack at bay. Will Ennis, Jonno Pierce and Ronan Karup came off the bench to maintain the pressure.
Provided the weather holds, for the first game of the season this Saturday against Lismore Workers in Lismore.
Reserves kick off at 1pm and the Prems at 3pm.