‘Unusual’ grand final: Club breaks 16-year drought
Byron Bay FC have won their first U16 ANZAC Cup title since 2004 in circumstances that can only be described as unusual.
Having won the title in 1995, 1996 and 2004, the victory broke a 16-year-old drought in this competition for the Rams and moved them up to equal-third in the list of clubs to have won this trophy.
While this season has already been interrupted by COVID-19 with the final delayed by five months, events got even stranger when the Alstonville FC team turned up to play.
Going into the match, both sides were undefeated in their run to the final with wins over South Lismore, Lismore Thistles and Richmond Rovers.
The only time the two teams had met in 2020 was in the regular season with Byron coming out 2-0 winners in a good contest.
Despite this, it soon became clear that the ANZAC Cup Final was going to an altogether different story when Alstonville turned up with only seven players.
While it was disappointing not to have a competitive final in such a historical competition, Byron Bay looked to make it a fair match by also deciding to play with seven players.
Putting the strange circumstances behind them, Byron put in a strong team effort to ensure they won the club's fourth U16 ANZAC Cup title with a 7-0 victory.
Player of the match, Louie Dumas, scored a hat-trick with Jack Crabtree scoring a double. Jude Taylor and Ralph Hoult also grabbed one goal each.
It's also the fourth trophy for this group of players having won the Pointscore Championship and Grand Final double last year in U15s and the U12 Grand Final in 2016.
Next up for this team is the 2020 Pointscore Championship: they currently have a three-point lead on the ladder with only one game remaining.