Major semi-final for Mullum; Byron Bay bows out
Mullumbimby 30 v Northern United 16
Byron Bay 8 v Grafton Ghosts 40
After a bruising 30-16 win over Northern United in Sunday’s NRRRL major preliminary semi-final, Mullumbimby Giants head off to Maclean this Sunday for a major semi-final showdown with Lower Clarence.
It was the brilliance of Giants five-eighth, Scott Hogan, operating behind a hard-working forward pack, that set the platform for the win in what was an often spiteful game in which two United players were sent off.
Centre Chris Swan was given his marching orders in the first half for a spear tackle on Giants fullback Murray Brown, and lock and captain Alwyn Roberts was given an early shower in the 63rd minute for punching and a head butt.
As well, Giants captain Andrew Moroney and United forward Al McKenzie were each given 10 minutes in the sin bin for high tackles.
The Giants led 14-nil at half-time, but even with depleted numbers, United fought back to within four points at 20-16.
But Hogan took over with a try four minutes from the end and help set up Troy Johnstone to cross the line.
It wasn’t such a happy weekend for cross-shire rivals, Byron Bay Red Devils whose title defence came to a disappointing end at the hands of Grafton Ghosts at Grafton on Saturday.
The Devils were crushed 40-8 with Ghosts crossing for seven tries with the Bay side only managing one.
It didn’t look all that bad at half-time with the Devils behind by only 8-2.
But with two Devils players sin-binned in the second half, Ghosts took full control to run away with the game – and end the Red Devils’ season leaving them with a long drive home.