BALLINA had plenty to cheer about in a convincing 28-16 win over Byron Bay in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League at Red Devil Park, Byron Bay, yesterday.
Hooker Zac Beecher and halfback Jess Perry were outstanding as the Seagulls also welcomed back front-rower Greg Ryan for his first game in 2014.
Ryan retired after captaining the side to a grand final win last year but will now play out the rest of the season.
"This win today has been a few weeks coming," Ballina coach Greg Barnes said.
"It was an extremely good effort from everyone involved. We were definitely on today and to keep Byron to 16 points is a huge effort."
The Seagulls took a 16-0 lead in the first half with winger Nick Meaney scoring a brilliant try off the back of some second phase play.
It was his second try of the game after centre Clarence Kelly scored the opening try.
Byron Bay needed to be next to score and did thanks to determined running from halfback Ben Webber.
Prop Simon Kelly scored just before half-time to narrow the margin to 16-10.
Five-eighth Andrew Battese controlled the game well for Ballina with his kicking while Byron Bay struggled to find someone to take charge on last-tackle options.
Twice they kicked out on the full after Ballina scored tries as they struggled to find momentum.
Perry and centre Michael Thomas scored tries in the second half for Ballina while winger Billy Goldsmith was the only Byron Bay player to register points after the break when he converted his own try.
BALLINA 28 (N Meaney 2, C Kelly, J Perry, M Thomas tries; A Battese 4 goals) d BYRON BAY 16 (B Webber, S Kelly, B Goldsmith tries; Goldsmith 2 goals)
Turkeys too strong
IN other NRRRL games, Kyogle beat Northern United 38-16 at New Park, Kyogle, on Saturday.
Evans Head dug deep for a 24-10 win over Mullumbimby at Stan Payne Oval, Evans Head.
Elsewhere, Murwillumbah remain at the top of the ladder after a 32-10 win over Marist Brothers at Crozier Field, Lismore.
And Casino thumped Lower Clar-ence 48-24 at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, yesterday