Byron Bay Rams started the Football FNC premier league soccer season with a tough 1-0 win against Ballina on Saturday, but paid a heavy price.
With only three minutes to go, Cameron Maciejewski broke his leg in an accident while defending in front of goal.
With the Rams facing a heavy workload, including Saturday’s local derby against Bangalow at Bangalow, he will be sorely missed as the Rams central midfielder workhorse.
Last Saturday The Rams had a score to settle after Ballina trounced them in last year’s semi-finals.
Ballina started strongly and forced Rams keeper Kai Connell to use all of his skill to deflect a mighty strike after only 12 minutes.
Defender Greg McDonnell had to be replaced after 30 minutes with an ankle injury and with a combination of good Ballina defence, luck and poor finishing, the score was nil-all at half-time.
The Rams finally found the net eight minutes into the second half with an attacking break down the right flank. Jordy Campbell received the ball and crossed it in front of goal for Maciejewski to score in the bottom right hand corner of the net against his old team.
The Rams dominated the rest of the game, but their strikers couldn’t seem to find the net. .
With an average age of just 17, most of the Byron Rams premier reserves team had their first taste of men’s premier grade football against last year’s minor champions Ballina.
The teams were attacking and defending evenly in the first half until the Rams captain, Nolan Pierce, celebrating his 17th birthday unleashed a cracker shot at goal.
The Ballina keeper could only deflecte it with Nick Enter pouncing on the loose ball to score and the Rams took their one goal lead into the half- time break.
The Ballina Seahorses came back in the second half fighting and despite powerhouse efforts from Rams Sam Robson, Tom Moore, Mav White and Pierce, Ballina racked up three goals to finally win 3-1.
Experienced Rams defender Bruce Knaggs also cemented the backline.
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