Clarence clears out
By STEVE SPINKS
PERHAPS Byron Bay rugby league centre Clarence Kelly should be renamed.
'Clearout Kelly' would be suitable following the youngster's three-try star showing in the Red Devils' 46-10 romp over Casino in round 16 of the Retravision Northern League at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, yesterday.
The pick of Kelly's three-try effort was his third which came midway through the second-half as he ran 70 metres past five defenders, some of them twice, to score. However, it was his first two tries which came in the space of two sets of six in the first 20 minutes that gave the Bay the early command of the match which set up the victory.
"He's only got two speeds, fast and extra fast," Byron Bay coach Vince Nicklin said.
"He had a setback early in the season when he had a burst appendix and he's only just getting back to his best form."
Rare talent Kelly has long been regarded as a rare talent on the Northern Rivers but after a successful first season in first grade last year with Ballina, the 20-year-old is only just finding his feet at Byron.
His pace and his strength makes him very difficult to stop even though he is not the biggest of centres.
Kelly's hat-trick was the highlight of a pretty miserable match in which ball control was obviously a concept neither side could understand, let alone implement.
At times it seemed both teams thought the match would be won by the number of unforced errors recorded and not by points on the scoreboard.
Byron winger Alex Niemack crossed for the first try of the afternoon after 12 minutes with Kelly following closely with two four-pointers to shoot the visitors out to a 16-0 lead.
By half-time the lead had grown to 28-0 and any thoughts of a close match were gone.
The second half was disappointing as Byron tried to score from every position on the field only to see the ball turn over, while Casino were just as guilty in pushing the miracle pass.
It seemed amazing that the Bay, a genuine contender for the premiership, could not complete a set of six.
Halfback Jared De Thierry had a field day in the first half when he was actually able to kick on the fifth tackle, earning one 40/20 which resulted in Kelly's second try and setting up two others.
However, De Thierry was hardly needed in the second half as the Bay bumbled their way to the competition points.
Kelly, De Thierry, prop Simon Kelly, lock David Black and hooker Corey Bond were the standouts for the victors with Daniel McDermott, Adam Hollis, Travis Falls, Clint Vidler and Matty Roberts trying hard for the outgunned Cougars.
BYRON BAY 46 (Clarence Kelly 3, Alex Niemack, Corey Bond, Ashley Laffranchi, Simon Kelly, David Black, Duane Cahill tries; David Black 5 goals) d CASINO 10 (Mick Webb, Clinton Vidler tries; Matty Roberts goal). Half-time: Byron 28-0. Penalties: 5-4. Referee: Troy Martin. Reserve grade: CASINO 20 d BYRON BAY 14. Under-18s: CASINO 40 d BYRON BAY 4