EMPHATIC WIN: George Martin strokes home a goal to help Byron Bay Rams seal a conclusive victory over Casino. The 6-0 win strengthened the Rams’ chances of claiming this season’s minor premiership.
EMPHATIC WIN: George Martin strokes home a goal to help Byron Bay Rams seal a conclusive victory over Casino. The 6-0 win strengthened the Rams’ chances of claiming this season’s minor premiership. Dogwhistle

Thistles, Byron Bay on collision course

LISMORE Thistles and Byron Bay look set to battle out the minor premiership title after both sides racked up big wins in the latest Football FNC men's premier league action.

Both teams posted emphatic victories over hapless opponents during Saturday's action, to further cement their grip on the ladder's leading places.

League leader Thistles remains undefeated after a polished 8-2 home win over Goonellabah, while the Rams moved into second place with an emphatic 6-0 away win over Casino.

Thistles were playing their third game in a week but showed no signs of fatigue as they went about dismantling the outclassed Hornets.

Goals flowed freely from the outset with two goals each for Darren Beardow, Matt Armstrong and Nathan McCann.

Ryan Parmenter also struck, while an own goal rounded off the scoring.

It was a similar story for the Rams as they outgunned the Cobras, with two goals apiece for George Martin and Layton Barton.

Seb Bell and Bruce Morhaus also got on the scoresheet to complete the handsome win.

Alstonville's hopes of their first semi-final appearance have suffered a major setback, after they struggled to a 3-3 away draw against Italo Stars. Despite sitting at the foot of the ladder, Stars raced to a 3-0 lead by half time during Friday night's contest as Lee Simpson bagged his second hat-trick of the season.

Villa lifted after the break with goals from Nathan Collins and Danny Chatterton getting them back in the game.

A tiring Stars did their best to hang on, but a second goal from Chatterton in the last touch of the game in added time salvaged a point for Villa. The result lifts Stars off the bottom of the ladder, one point ahead of Casino, but the two sides look likely to continue a tense relegation battle.

LADDER

Lismore Thistles (PL11, 30pts), Byron Bay (11, 25), Bangalow (12, 24), Lismore Workers (9, 17), Richmond Rovers (9, 14), Alstonville (11, 13), Lennox Head (9, 11), Goonellabah (11, 8), Italo Stars (9, 3), Casino (11, 2)


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