Byron Bay 2 Workers 3
The wheels seem to have fallen off the Byron Bay Rams hopes of taking out the Football Far North Coast minor premiership.
It was another case of what might have been with the second embarrassing loss in three weeks to a team they had beaten convincingly in the first round.
After such a great game the previous week against reigning premiers Rovers, it seemed things were back on track for the Rams.
However, Lismore Workers hovering in 6th place on the ladder had the Rams’ measure from the get go at their dusty home ground.
Conditions were not ideal in energy sapping 30 degree heat on a dry, bumpy oval. Workers dominated the first 20 minutes until we saw a spark of the Rams former competition winning style with a lovely set of passes through five forwards culminating in a goalmouth scramble and young 16 year old winger Nolan Pierce finally heading the ball into the net past Workers keeper Thomas Chen.
However, Workers retaliated just three minutes later with a build up down the left flank and Rams keeper Kai Connell wasn’t able to collect a powerful shot by Corey Loft, which hit his chest and bounced off for unmarked Workers striker Kurt Brewer-Charles to easily tap it into the net and even the score.
After the half-time break Workers came out with renewed enthusiasm and could smell an upset victory. With just five minutes gone Workers made a blinding fast break through the Rams midfield and Zac Crowley powered a long range shot over Connell into the top corner of the net taking the lead to the loud cheers of the Lismore fans.
Workers were fighting for semi-final contention with determination and a fire in their collective bellies. Again the Rams seemed to be playing well below par and certainly missing their talented playmaking midfielders John Bradbury and Bruce Morhaus.
As fatigue set in under the hot conditions the Rams found it ever more difficult to find their match winning form.
They were making mistakes and passes were going astray. With just 15 minutes to go a desperate defensive tackle in the Rams penalty box lead to Crowley’s second goal from the resulting penalty.
With the score at 3-1 it seemed all was lost for the Rams. However they fought on, and Jed Wright controlled a long range throw in from Jonathan Pierce beautifully, and was able to bounce it over a Workers defender.
He saw the keeper was off his line and then chipped the ball over Chen into the net. The goal renewed the Rams determination. However it was all too late and at the full-time whistle, Workers had won a well deserved and well celebrated victory over a shocked Byron Bay outfit.
The Rams will be looking for a form reversal in the final round this weekend against Ballina.
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