Rams put two past Hornets
LAST Friday night's round of the Football Far North Coast 2019 Premier Division competition in Goonellabah saw the Byron Bay Services Club Rams consolidate their 'top-of-the-table' spot heading into the final rounds.
The Reserve Grade got the show started with a solid 1-0 win setting the scene for a Premier Division nail-biter.
With the Hornets desperate secure a finals berth and the Rams with an eye on the Championship mug, both sides were determined to bring home the points.
The match began a little scrappy, with Byron pressing hard and Goonellabah reponding with equal ferocity. With striker Diego Vazquez unavailable, Lisandro Luaces and Yusmel Mustelier harried the Hornets' flanks while the inexhaustible Jono Pierce ran amok up front.
Despite plenty of shots at the Goonelabah goal, the Rams managed to sky a few and have the rest scooped up by the Hornet's very busy keeper.
As the first half progressed, the Byron boys settled into their quick and slick passing game, knocking the ball around and beginning to dominate.
In the final minute of the opening set, a short corner found Luaces unmarked 30 metres out. He snapped it cleanly to Jono Pierce in the box whose cheeky back heel left the Goonellabah keeper despondent in the dirt.
The second half mirrored the first, with both sides battling for the upper hand but the Rams looking stronger and more composed.
James Tomlinson once again marshalled his back line to repel all boarders and Ben Ahern and Rick Muir dominated the midfield. Luaces and Mustelier ramped up the pressure with frequent drives down the Hornets flanks while Jono Pierce relentlessly pressed the home team's goal.
Four minutes before the final whistle, Lisandro Luaces broke through the Hornets line and blasted home the Rams second goal of the night.
The win puts the Rams 4 points ahead of second placed Richmond Rovers going into what could be the competition decider against them in Lismore tonight (Tuesday August 20) .
The final round of the general competition has the Rams again travelling to Lismore to meet fourth placed Thistles on Sunday.
The Reserves kick off at 12.30 and the Prems at 2.30.