CAT POWER: Xavier Ellis continues to dominate the midfield.
CAT POWER: Xavier Ellis continues to dominate the midfield. Tim Edwards

Winning day on the road

BOTH Spell & the Gypsy Collective Byron Bay Wildcats teams travelled to exotic, far-off destinations, on Sunday afternoon to defend the soccer honour of Byron Shire and came away with important wins.

The Premiers team met an understaffed Casino under cloudy skies at their home ground and managed to score a goal in the first minute when Eva Salmon finished a slick forward-line passing sequence. The woes of an inexperienced substitute Casino keeper played out five minutes later when a solid drive from Salem Edwards bobbled out of her grasp and bounced across the goal line.

Excitingly for the Wildcat's supporters, Casino's early jitters enabled the Byron midfield and front-line combinations to reach top gear. Edwards, Salmon, Zoe Corbett and the mercurial Lisa Bolt knocked the ball around expertly and Danni Rowland took on the opposition directly, leaving the Casino defenders in shock. By half time she had produced three goals.

The arrival of top notch re-enforcements at half-time saw Casino throw more challenges at the Bay in the second half. Despite two excellent goals for the locals, Byron Bay managed another four goals, including two more for the rampant Rowland. The result, a commendable 10-2 win.

Life was a lot tougher for the Bay thirds who travelled to Dunoon to take on a local crew who always put up a stout fight. The Wildcats came out hard with Violet Rogers scoring early but despite dominating first half possession and shots on goal it was the locals who scored twice with teams going to oranges with Dunoon leading 2-1.

The second half followed a similar pattern with the Cats providing offensive momentum but failing to make their opponents pay in the final third of the pitch. With the clock winding down, Jess Biber managed to finish a perfect corner from Delillah Devine, tieing the scores at 2-all. Then in the final minute, Biber broke free from her defender, made a slashing run down the left flank and beat the keeper to give the Wildcats a winning goal with seconds left on the clock.

Coach John Mackay was pleased with the gutsy efforts of every player, especially Xavier Ellis who continues to control the midfield so expertly.