by Tim Edwards
THE Spell & the Gypsy Collective Byron Bay Wildcats were in top form against the Lismore Italo All Stars in their Friday night match at the Byron Bay Recreation Ground.
Their first half was a quality display but the second half was a different story.
The match saw the third on the Summer Youth League table, the injury and absentee-impacted Wildcats, up against an under-manned Stars outfit which was forced to play the entire game with only 10 players.
The first half went to script with Nambi Rembe scoring the first of her eventual triple as the Wildcats women relentlessly tore into their rattled opponents.
The Wildcats went to oranges 3-0 in front.
An early second half strike from the Bay must have had the Stars coach fearing a walkover as his players tired but he didn't have to worry.
Not long after the Bay's scoring, the Stars struck back with a wonderful goal from their speedy and powerful striker.
The remainder of the second half saw the ball swing from one end to the other as both keepers were often left stranded by the flagging defenses of their teams.
While the Wildcats had 11 players on the pitch, their backline was thrown into disarray by the injury to Mel Bradshaw and the absence of fellow defensive star Grace Pattiso.
This enabled the Stars to put three more goals into the Byron net despite heroic efforts from keeper Ekala Boyd to limit the damage.
At the other end, Samy Bashford, Maddie Green and Zoe Corbett were harassing the All Stars keeper, as well, to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
After a frenetically goal-filled and exciting second half, the Wildcats women ran out eventual victors seven goals to four.
Goal scorers for the wildcats were Maddie Green, Xavier Ellis, Eva Salmon, Samy Bashford and a big three for Nambi Rembe.