Andrew stars in his brother?s absence
By STEVE SPINKS
RUGBY players are always loath to give up their position even if they are injured. There's always that paranoid feeling that the bloke you give an opportunity to will take your spot. Imagine how young Ballina back Adam Gordon is feeling today. Gordon had to miss the opening round of the Bangalow Hotel Far North Coast rugby union competition on Saturday because of an ill grandfather he had to visit in Wee Waa. So what happens? His older brother Andrew Gordon takes his spot in first grade and scores two tries and kicks a conversion and a penalty goal in Ballina's 20-15 victory over Wollongbar at Lyle Park, Wollongbar. "It was my first full game in first grade," the former Byron Bay rugby league player said. "I don't think Adam's got much too worry about though. "I'm not as fit as him at the moment." Gordon and former NSW Country fullback Kane Scott were included in the side at the last moment after winger Lenny Moran was also a late withdrawal. "Lenny's wife went into labour on Saturday morning," coach Karl Lupton said. "He told me at 11am Saturday, so there were a couple of late changes and between the two of them they hogged all the scoring." Scott scored Ballina's other try. Ballina led 12-5 at half-time but the Seahorses were forced to defend grimly for most of the second half as the Pioneers' forward pack took charge. Gordon, Scott, five-eighth Luke Sullivan, flanker Liam Preston and halfback Troy Nichol were the pick of the Ballina side, according to Lupton. For Wollongbar, second-rower Roman Lakomy, fullback Nick Glynn and five-eighth Nick Henry were the standouts. At Albert Park, Casino, a mammoth effort by the Casino forward pack provided the Bulls with an impressive 29-10 victory over Southern Cross University. From the moment the Bulls scored their opening try from a pushover scrum, things looked grim for the students. Forwards Paul Batson, Terry Llewellyn, Joey Mohammed and Adam Bowen were impressive for Casino, while Dan MacDonald played well in the centres. Back-rowers Dan Doyle and Alex Mills were the pick for the Gold Rats. Defending premiers Lismore City had to rely on a try to flanker James Olivieri in the last 10 minutes to escape with a win over a vastly improved Grafton at Grafton. City led 14-3 at half-time but were down 20-19 until Olivieri found himself on the end of long movement that led to his try underneath the cross-bar. No 8 Ray Taylor, halfback Ben Sloane and second-rower Adrian McGrath played prominent roles for the Greens, while flanker Rob Brown and fullback John Spurway stood tall for the Redmen. Results: First grade: BALLINA 20 (A Gordon 2, K Scott tries; A Gordon conversion, penalty) d WOLLONGBAR 15 (N Henry, M Lloyd tries; N Glynn penalty, A Hudson conversion). LISMORE 26 (S Hughes, N Marshall, M Scheibel, J Olivieri tries; B Sloane 3 conversions) d GRAFTON 20 (J Spurway 2, J Flaherty tries; S Warren conversion, penalty). CASINO 29 d SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY 10 (scorers unavailable). Reserve grade: Lismore 3 d Grafton 0, Ballina 41 d Wollongbar 0, Casino 15 d SCU 7. Under-19s: Lismore 19 d Grafton 12, Wollongbar d Ballina (forfeit), Casino d SCU. Third grade: Lismore 15 d Grafton 3, Byron Bay 7 d Ballina 0, Mullumbimby v Yamba (no score available). Village competition: Bangalow 13 d Kyogle 0, Lennox Head 39 d Richmond Range 6, Iluka 9 d Evans River 5.